2019 muscular India to bad for India’s soul: How global media reacted to PM Modi and BJP’s win

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Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: The NYT credited Amit Shah, who they called a Hindu hardliner, for the PM Modi-led BJP’s victory

On Thursday evening it became quite apparent that the BJP-led NDA was the victorious side by a large margin. A triumphant Modi spoke to the jubilant BJP workers after the mandate of the people. During his speech at the BJP headquarters, the leader said that this victory was verdict for a new India, adding that the number of seats that BJP won in itself was a phenomenon in the history of democracy.

“Since the country got Independence, so many elections took place, but the maximum voting took place in this election, and that too in 40-42 degree temperature,” he added. While the party and its supporters rejoiced the victory, the foreign media was divided on the same.

Here’s what the foreign media had to say after the resounding victory of the BJP:

India’s Modi wins resounding election victory with potent appeal to nationalism – The Washington Post

The Washington Post said that in Modi’s victory, “voters endorsed his vision of a muscular, assertive and fundamentally Hindu India”. The report further added that Modi, who the new site termed as charismatic but polarising, is part of a crop of the right-leaning populist leaders around the world. The daily mentioned that there was a belief in his first term that he would unshackle the economy and create jobs, which remained unfulfilled. Moreover, this time around he “pushed a message of nationalist pride” and telling people that only he could keep India safe, it said.

Modi and BJP Make History in India. Gandhi Concedes. – The New York Times

In its coverage of the Indian elections, NYT gave a lowdown of the key takeaways of the poll verdict. It said that Modi struck a populist tone along with evocation of mythical Hindu figures and framed the verdict as a win for ordinary Indians. The NYT also credited Amit Shah, who they called a Hindu hardliner, for the BJP’s win. The daily further added that the number of Muslims in the Parliament is henceforth expected to fall to a ‘historic low’.

Also read: Election results 2019: Modi 2.0 faces the tough task of fixing the economy

Narendra Modi’s landslide: bad for India’s soul – The Guardian

British media outlet The Guardian wrote a scathing editorial on PM Modi titled ‘The Guardian view on Narendra Modi’s landslide: bad for India’s soul’.

“The landslide win for Mr Modi will see India’s soul lost to a dark politics – one that views almost all 195 million Indian Muslims as second-class citizens,” read The Guardian editorial. It added: “A divisive figure, Mr Modi is undoubtedly a charismatic campaigner. Rather than transcend the faultlines of Indian society – religion, caste, region and language – Mr Modi’s style is to throw them into sharp relief. He is a populist who speaks in the name of the people against the elite despite being a seasoned public figure. Mr Modi deployed with terrible effect false claims and partisan facts.”

Narendra Modi’s landslide re-election in India is another win for religious nationalism – Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times quoted Irfan Nooruddin, director of the Georgetown India Initiative at Georgetown University who said that Amit Shah and Modi ran one of the most polarising campaign in Indian history. The daily added that at a time when religious nationalism was on the rise across the globe, Modi has pushed India towards his vision of a Hindu nation.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi loses his home seat in humiliating election defeat – The Telegraph

The Telegraph said that the INC went from “understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within a span of a few hours”. It called Congress’ performance a humiliation. The Telegraph called Gandhi a ‘youthful pretender’ who grew in his role in the last 18 months. The daily also said that the Congress President’s inability to form good relations with regional parties cost him the elections.

Narendra Modi has reinvented Indian politics – BBC News

The BBC said that PM Modi made the elections all about himself. The economy was not upbeat but people were not blaming the leader yet, the report said, adding that he actually asked for five more years to undo more than 60 years of mismanagement. BBC further added that a mix of “nationalist rhetoric, subtle religious polarisation and a slew of welfare programmes” helped the PM.

Modi victory augurs well for Japan-India ties – The Japan Times

The Japan Times said that Modi’s victory will work well for Japan-India ties as the leader shares “Abe’s soft nationalism, market-oriented economics and geopolitical goal to create a web of interlocking strategic partnerships among like-minded Asian countries.” It invoked the Pulwama incident and said that national security was one of the major decisive factors.

Also read: Election Result 2019: Why Modi 2.0 will make India a stronger military power

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