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India rejects the chauvanists…

May 16, 2009

…and keeps The Congress Party APin power.  The Times of London states:

Congress alone won more than 200 seats, the first single party to get such resounding support in 17 years, trouncing its main rival the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and quelling fears that the month-long poll would result in a fragile coalition.

The Atlantic Monthly recently published a frightening article on the Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party (BJP) and its charismatic leader, Narendra Modi.  Modi, despite bringing a great deal of business and infrastructure to Gujarat during his tenure as the state’s Chief Minister, also presided over the terrible communal violence in the spring of 2002 that killed more than 1,000 people.  

Robert Kaplan notes:

In a remarkable three terms as chief minister, he has never apologized, has never demonstrated regret of any sort for 2002, and has become a hero to the Hindu nationalist movement. Furthermore, his machine-like efficiency, financial probity, and dynamic leadership of the government bureaucracy have made Gujarat a mecca for development, garnering more internal investment than any other state in India. Migrants, both Hindu and Muslim, from throughout India have been streaming into Gujarat to find work at its expanding factories.

There is an element of Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore in Modi’s Gujarat. What’s more, Modi’s hypnotic oratory and theatrical flair have led some to compare him to Hitler. Certainly he is the most charismatic Indian political leader to emerge since Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.

These are also the chaps who decided it would be a good idea in 1998 to test 5 nuclear weapons, freaking out the Pakistanis, who responded in kind.

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