Elections in India: Christians Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Source: FSSPX News

The legislative elections have perhaps brought some breathing room for Christians. Narendra Modi, who has governed India for ten years without sharing, has lost his absolute majority and will no longer be able to modify the Constitution to achieve the great Hindu shift so feared by persecuted religious minorities.

The confident strong man of India had set a goal for his supporters: to win 370 out of the 543 seats in the Indian parliament. Since the alliance led by the outgoing Prime Minister's party obtained a parliamentary majority in the legislative elections, the results of which were communicated on June 4, 2024, the Hindu nationalist party – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – should only obtain 240 seats, a threshold far removed from the goal set by Narendra Modi.

The opposition, united around the Congress Party, made a successful comeback, obtaining 234 seats. To hope to run for a new term at the head of the Indian government, Modi will have to convince two key men to join him in a coalition: Nitish Kumar, the leader of the state of Bihar, and Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh, who are in a sense two kingmakers who should choose the side of the highest bidder, probably that of the outgoing prime minister.

Contrary to what Mr. Modi thought, religion has less weight than the contents of the wallet: the BJP did not manage to come first “in the constituency of Ayodhya, this city in Uttar Pradesh where the head of the Indian executive inaugurated the controversial Ram temple on January 22, built on the ruins of the old Babri mosque,” ​​explains Le Monde.

“From now on, Narendra Modi is no longer the divine incarnation of the people. Today, he is just a politician like any other, brought back to normal by the voters,” summarizes political scientist Pratab Bhanu Mehta in the columns of The Indian Express, as reported by Le Monde.

As far as it concerns Christians, who represent around 2% of the population of India, they now seem to have some breathing room, and for good reason: if Modi had obtained a two-thirds majority, the head of the BJP would have been able to fulfill his promise to modify the country's Constitution to elevate the supremacy of the Hindu religion. 

However, there is nothing to be overly happy about: as of March 2024, eleven out of 28 Indian states had laws criminalizing religious conversions, and 161 anti-Christian acts had been reported during the first 75 days of the year, according to Zenit.