Election results are a thumping victory for the country — and for democracy — say NRIs in the Gulf



Like a tightly-contested cricket match, the numbers crunching of the 2024 Indian general elections went down to the wire. In the run-up to the counting, almost all exit polls had predicted a clean sweep for the ruling NDA (with the BJP as its chief constituent), with at least a couple of them claiming the alliance will fetch up at least 400 seats, while others claimed a comfortable 350/360-plus. As counting day devolved through 4 June, all bets were off, and the country threw up a barrage of surprises, proving the age-old adage true: don’t count your chickens till they are hatched.

Democracy is alive and kicking, is the broad consensus across all Indians and India-watchers, as the people of India have voted with their hearts and their heads both firmly in place. NRIs in the Gulf spoke to NRIFocus.com about what they believe the results endorse… and what they don’t.

 ‘A stronger Opposition — what India needed, and what India will now get’

— UAE-based entrepreneur Farhan Kapadia

“This has been a great result: Indian needed a stronger Opposition, and that is what it’s going to get. I strongly feel Mr Modi should remain in power — but with more checks and balances, and to my mind, that has been the main takeaway that the results have thrown up. The BJP now might go for a more welfare-based model, but it should be entirely merit-based, no freebies please… It’s important that the economy should not be put on the backfoot, and the work already being done in sectors like power, railways, infrastructure, and roads not get derailed. The middle classes in India have been bearing the brunt of a staggering tax structure in the face of growing inflation — that really needs to be revised. Finally, I hope the relationship between India and the Middle East — the UAE in particular — continues to thrive. It had been a neglected relationship till Mr Modi decided to proactively — and repeatedly — pursue it, and, for that, hats off to him.”

‘The results mark the resurgence of those who may have lost faith in the country’s institutions’

— UAE-based editor and researcher Ehtesham Shahid

“Resurgence is the word that sums up India’s 2024 election results. It appears to be the resurgence of embattled Opposition ranks, the resurgence of the Hindi heartland, and the resurgence of marginalized farmers and the jobless youth. It will also hearten the disenfranchised, the underprivileged, and those who have lost their voice in the din and bustle of an ecosystem that often perpetuates mediocrity and evades critical analysis. More importantly, these results also mark the resurgence of those who may have lost faith in the country’s institutions. It has established that we are an inclusive nation, that asserts through checks and balances in the larger scheme of things. In other words, what goes up can also go down. While Prime Minister Modi remains the symbol of India’s aspirational middle class, how these results impact his policies will be critical for the future of our country.”

‘This has been a vote for democracy’

— Former corporate honcho Kannan Ramakrishnan and wife Kamini Kannan

“As NRIs, we feel immense pride about many ‘aspects’ of India — our culture, people, diversity. One other important aspect is democracy, the foundation on which our nation was built. Regardless of the results of this particular election —in the form of an outright winner or loser — it [the elections] is testimony to India’s democracy

that the people have been given a voice and have given a clear mandate. The results prove that people want a strong Opposition in the government, which is one of the key pillars of a democracy… they have provided a timely alert that development and growth is not a destination but a continuous process. The onus is now on the ruling alliance to accelerate their plans and continue moving forward rapidly. There is a close second now, which is how it should always be — and should have been.”

‘Brand Modi has been cut down to size’

— Oman-based executive Ganesh Devrajan

“The results clearly show that Brand Modi has taken a beating — something that was deemed unimaginable even a little while ago. For the BJP, this election had been about pandering to the Hindu majority, trying to maximize the impact of the Ram Temple, and I thought it was a divisive campaign they unleashed based more on rhetoric rather than performance. So, I’m not surprised at the result and was expecting something on these lines as the general public was disillusioned. One aspect that stands out is how West Bengal — a state I have close ties with — was targeted by BJP in an attempt to put Mamata Banerjee into political wilderness, and how they failed miserably! As an Indian and an NRI, for me, India reflects a collection of communities, who, despite their differences in language, caste, religion etc, stay together to make India what it is. I am sure the election results will again strengthen my hope, and I pray that democracy prevails and will set the right agenda or the path in the coming future.” – The writer is Consulting Editor of nrifocus.com


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