Almost all observers believed that India’s 2019 general election would result in a hung parliament and a coalition government. Yet, the election returned Prime Minister Narendra of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a second five-year term in office. The BJP not only increased its parliamentary majority, it also won seats in states and regions beyond the Hindi heartland. Indeed, Modi is the first prime minister since Indira Gandhi in 1971 to be reelected with a larger majority. What explains Modi’s spectacular electoral victory, and what does his victory bode for India’s representative democratic political order? Will India turn towards illiberalism as Modi tries to turn India into a Hindu majoritarian state? The following pages argue that such pessimism is unwarranted since India’s democracy is far more resilient, with built-in mechanisms against potential strongmen.
- Indian politics
- liberal democracy