Last week, the Indian Republic held a federal election with historic results. The long-dominant Indian National Congress party was ousted by the Hindu-nationalist Bharat Janta Party. The main contrast, however, is that the Indian people have chosen a right-leaning party (read: authoritarian tendencies) to govern for the first time in many years.
What does this mean for Canada?
By nature, Stephen Harper should be ecstatic, right? As Straight.com put it, Harper “celebrates the victory of his right-wing cousin, Narendra Modi.” I knew Harper was some kind of minority! He always had an exotic-sounding name.
Harper expressed his gratitude to the Indian people, who ““peacefully exercised their right to vote” (to elect a man who governed a violence-torn state in 2002)?
Harper and Modi share a bond that will certainly bring our two nations closer together. They’re both right-wing conservatives. They both come from humble beginnings. Modi, son of a poor tea seller and Harper, mail room clerk at Imperial Oil.
Modi also has ties to the eerily-named RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) group, which some claim to be neo-fascist. I wonder how your average Globe and Mail commenters would interpret that, in relation to Stephen Harper.
So why are news outlets linking Harper and Modi so close together? Has Harper been a Hindu nationalist this whole time? Now that Harper has found his long-lost brother, perhaps India-Canada relations. Things were kind of sour when they used Canadian products to create armaments, when the government explicitly told them not to. Maybe King-in-forever-waiting Charles could bring us together. Maybe we have an inevitable war between Indian and Pakistan to look forward to in the next few months.
Overall, the elections in India have been a major shift in the country’s ideaology and international stature. No longer is India a country ruled by a dynastic, pampered, arrogant government. Finally, there can be new dynasties. A nationalistic dynasty. I wonder how this story progresses.