Difficult times are feared for Christian minority in India, after the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sees his position strengthened by a landslide victory of the coalition he led in the general elections held in April and May 2019.
Michael Gonsalves, Indian Catholic journalist, director of the national newspaper Financial Chronicle, visiting professor at several journalism schools in India, is convinced of it.
The polls revealed a clear majority in favor of the Hindu nationalist party, Baratiya Janata (BJP), to which voters have given unprecedented confidence, winning over 300 seats out of 543 in the Indian parliament.
According to Michael Gonsalves, President Emeritus of the Indian Catholic Press Association, the coming weeks will be crucial. “It will be necessary to see if the BJP of Modi intends to pursue its plan to transform India into a Hindu kingdom, by amending its constitution,” the journalist told Vatican Insider.
Many Christians are waiting for the signals that are sure to come soon: will the BJP support the Ghar Wapas movement—“return to the Hindu faith”—which advocates forced conversion to Hinduism? Will the executive limit the fundamental freedom to practice and preach the Faith, guaranteed until now by the Indian Constitution?
Others, more optimistic, would like to believe that after a brilliantly run election campaign, after which all goals have been achieved, Narendra Modi will come back to better sentiments and adopt a moderate program, following the example of what former BJP leader and prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did.
The Indian Catholic Church—which represents 2% of the total population of the country—lives for the moment in a state of uncertainty.