Indian Election Results Offer  Hope to Muslim Community

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Indian Election Results Offer Hope to Muslim Community

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The results of India’s 18th general election have brought a significant sense of relief and renewed faith to the Indian Muslim community. Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi winning another term, the anticipated landslide victory did not materialize, offering hope to many.

“I am so relieved. I didn’t want to go abroad and look for a job again,” said a former engineering classmate who returned to India after decades abroad. His sentiment reflects the broader relief felt among Indian Muslims who were increasingly feeling marginalized under Modi’s administration.

Modi’s BJP had confidently predicted a victory with 400 of the 543 parliamentary seats, banking on Modi’s image as a global leader and the reviver of Hindu pride. However, the BJP only secured 240 seats, falling short of a majority and necessitating alliances with regional parties to govern.

This outcome is a significant check on Modi’s power. Prominent regional leaders like Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu, known for their less hostile stance towards Muslims, will play crucial roles in the new government. Their involvement indicates a move away from the aggressive Hindutva agenda that characterized Modi’s previous term.

The Indian Muslim community, which played a decisive role in voting for the opposition, now sees a chance to remain in India without the fear of increasing marginalization. The Muslim vote helped prevent a sweeping victory for the BJP, signaling a respite from the relentless religious subjugation experienced over the past decade.

In states with significant Muslim populations, such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Kerala, the BJP faced notable defeats. Modi’s aggressive campaign rhetoric, which often vilified Muslims, failed to resonate with many voters who were more concerned with pressing issues like unemployment, rural distress, and inflation.

The election results have thus restored faith in India’s democracy and its ability to resist majoritarian capture of media, judiciary, and government institutions. The future government will have to focus more on economic policies and less on divisive, grandiose nationalist aspirations.

The collective efforts of regional leaders and the opposition coalition, INDIA, have played a crucial role in this outcome, preserving the democratic fabric of the nation and offering a much-needed reprieve to minorities, particularly Muslims. (Muqtedar Khan, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware , extract from