Modi enjoys unprecedented popularity

India’s democracy is strong, vibrant and robust

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott

Sir, – Further to “The Irish Times view on the Indian election: Modi tightens his grip” (April 11th), Indian prime minister Narendra Modi enjoys unprecedented popularity and profile not only in India but globally because of his impeccable personal character and integrity and thought-leadership on innovative, inclusive governance and sustainable development. As he does not belong to any elite political family, his personal life inspires millions of ordinary people in India and other developing countries. Mr Modi has implemented a paradigm change in the ethos of development focused on empowerment and welfare of the poorest, including youth (making India the third largest hub of start-ups and unicorn companies), women (significantly improving gender-ratio and expanding their economic participation, including, inter alia, through 33 per cent reservation in parliament) and the poor (uplifting 250 million out of poverty). The people of India are excited to witness the vibrancy of democracy in action on the ground.

The fight against the deeply entrenched ecosystem of corruption (created by the 55-year rule, including first 30 years, by a single dynastic party in India) is a major factor behind Mr Modi’s ever-growing popularity. There is huge sense of relief at the grass-root level to witness action being taken and recoveries made from the rich and powerful elites who operated with a sense of entitlement of impunity. The anti-corruption drive itself is so successful because the government has given free hand to the relevant agencies (their appointment, constitution and operating procedures are quite similar to the corresponding Irish/British agencies), and the adoption of innovative technology to facilitate detection of the nefarious, multilayered web of corruption and tax evasion by politicians, NGOs, and media. All cases of corruption are pursued strictly as per the established procedure, with availability of usual judicial remedies to the affected parties. India also, like the US, Ireland and other European Union countries, does not have a separate tax code or judicial process for journalists, human rights activists and politically influential individuals, nor there is any provision of special immunity to them during elections.

A stereotypical description of India as “80 per cent Hindu majority” nation is quite misleading because Hinduism is inherently inclusive and fundamentally pluralistic, since centuries preceding the birth of Buddha or Christ. Numerically, Hindus of India outnumber the entire population of European Union and the North America, and obviously do not represent a monolithic vote bank. Hindus of India possess incredible diversity of thought, ways of life and political beliefs, covering the entire spectrum from extreme left to extreme right. They regularly vote to power non-”Hindu nationalists”. Even now Mr Modi’s BJP rules only in 12 out of 28 states of India. This can happen only in “Hindu majority” India. – Yours, etc,



Ambassador of India to Ireland,

Dublin 4.