On May 16, 2014, an electoral revolution took place in India when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi won 282 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. For the first time since the general elections took place in India in 1951-52, a political party apart from the Indian National Congress secured a majority in the Parliament. The Indian National Congress (INC), which is also the oldest Indian political party, was reduced to its all-time worst tally of 44 seats. Subsequently, the BJP managed to capture power in various state assemblies, which it never had before in its history.
His supporters praise his government and point out how no scams involving anyone in the central government have taken place since Modi came to power, the decision to incorporate the poor into the banking system through the Jan Dhan Yojana, increase in the number of registered taxpayers after ‘demonetisation’, the emphasis on cleanliness by starting the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, etc.
They believe that it was worth waiting in line for hours during ‘demonetisation’ since it was a sacrifice made to fight the menace of black money and curb terrorism.
However, despite Modi’s soaring popularity, he has his share of critics and opposition too. The critics argue that things have become worse since he came to power three years ago. They put emphasis on the government’s role in what they perceive to be rising ‘intolerance’ and ‘hostility’ towards Muslims, giving in to corporate interests, rising unemployment, curbing dissent in educational institutions and saffronising them by installing members affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), among other things.
Modi has also been criticised for ‘demonetisation’, the decision to devalue a major portion of the Indian currency at one go. The critics say it did not meet its aim of curbing the menace of black money and terrorism, and criticise it for causing inconvenience and even deaths.
Which side of the debate are you on?
Do you think the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri in 2015 and the violence by gau-rakshaks indicate rising hostility towards Muslims in India? Or does India continue to remain a safe space for everyone?
Are corporate interests taking over the agenda or is Modi too smart to let them overpower him?
This week, we want you to share whether you think the Modi government should get another term in 2019 based on its performance in these three years. Tell us why, or why not.