The BJP is the world’s most important foreign political party and it may also be the least understood according to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal authored by Walter Russell Mead.
The WSJ’s piece read, “India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is, from the standpoint of American national interests, the most important foreign political party in the world. It may also be the least understood,”.
According to the publication, the BJP is likely to win again in 2024 after winning in 2014 and 2019. It also noted that Japan and India are emerging as the key players in American strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.
“For the foreseeable future the BJP will be calling the shots in a country without whose help American efforts to balance rising Chinese power are likely to fall short,” it added.
The author Mead belthat BJP is poorly understood because it grows out of a political and cultural history unfamiliar to most non-Indians.
The Wall Street Journal piece stated that The BJP’s electoral dominance reflects the success of a once obscure and marginal social movement of national renewal based on efforts by generations of social thinkers and activists to chart a distinctively ‘Hindu path’ to modernization.
“Like the Muslim Brotherhood, the BJP rejects many ideas and priorities of Western liberalism even as it embraces key features of modernity. Like the Chinese Communist Party, the BJP hopes to lead a nation with more than a billion people to become a global superpower. Like the Likud Party in Israel, the BJP combines a basically pro-market economic stance with populist rhetoric and traditionalist values, even as it channels the anger of those who’ve felt excluded and despised by a cosmopolitan, Western-focused cultural and political elite,” it added.
American analysts, particularly those of a left-liberal persuasion, often look at Narendra Modi’s India and ask why it isn’t more like Denmark. Their concerns aren’t wholly misplaced. Journalists who are critical of the ruling coalition can face harassment and worse. Religious minorities who fall afoul of the resurgent Hindu pride that marks BJP India speak of mob violence and point to hostile official measures like broadly drafted anti-conversion laws as well as occasional outbursts of mob violence. Many fear the power of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, a nationwide Hindu nationalist organization with close ties to BJP leadership, it added.
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