Likely Scenario In India After 2024 Election – OpEd


With the announcement of poll schedule for the 2024 parliamentary election, there is palpable excitement and expectation amongst the countrymen about the shape of things to happen in India after the results of the election would be announced. There is also speculation abroad about the future course of developments in India.

With around 970 million people in India registered as voters , the forthcoming 2024 election would go down in history as the largest democratic election exercise in the world. It is expected that the polls would be conducted with reasonable level of fairness, dignity and with people’s enthusiastic participation , as the process of conducting elections in India over the last several decades have attained certain level of perfection.

Theme for 2024 election

What is unique about this forthcoming election in India is that the poll theme has been focused on one person namely Mr. Narendra Modi, who has been the Prime Minister for the last ten years. Never before has this happened to such an extent in the national elections in India , when an individual leader has become the focus point for the people to vote for him or vote against him.

Mr. Modi’s achievements and priorities

There is no serious disagreement amongst the independent and discerning observers that under Mr. Modi’s leadership, there have been considerable achievements in industrial and economic front in India.

At the same time , no one can miss the fact that there have been visible efforts by Mr,. Modi to prioritise historical traditions , culture and value system of Hindu religion . With more than 75% of Indian population being Hindus , there is broad approval to Mr. Modi’s focus on further highlighting the ethos and practices of Hindu religion.  

Commitment to secular principles

Of course, the concept of secularism is now subjected to closer scrutiny in India.

Modi’s leadership to show himself as a Hindu at every opportunity has been questioned by opposition political parties , calling him as non secular. The opening of Ram temple in Ayodhya with much fanfare and with Mr. Modi personally acting as chief priest and his participation in inauguration of a massive temple in UAE have been criticised by some opposition parties in India and they have termed such acts as indication of Mr. Modi’s lack of commitment to the principles of secularism. 

However, informed opinion is that secularism does not prevent anyone, whether he is Prime Minister or anyone else , from being a follower of a particular religion and exhibit his religious fervour. At the same time, it is imperative, according to the principles of secularism, that no one should be critical of other religions. On the basis of such principle, Mr. Modi is committed to principles of secularism, as he has also visited churches and mosques on certain occasions . The criticism of the opposition parties that Mr. Modi is not secular is unfair and condemnable.

On the other hand, several political parties in India prioritise the importance of minority religions, as part of strategy for strengthening their vote bank. There have been efforts to whip up anger amongst minority community against Modi government

Further, section of leadership of two minority communities in India namely Islam and Christianity have been targeting to expand their religions’ population strength by encouraging conversions from other religions This conversion practices have been checked to some extent by Modi government and perhaps, this has upset the leadership of section of minority communities , who directly or indirectly are asking the people belonging to their religion to vote against Mr. Modi.

Whatever the term secular may mean, India is no less secular under Mr. Modi’s leadership than any other country in the world today, as the rights of minority religion have not been curtailed

What impact during the next five years?

Several pre election surveys have predicted overwhelming majority for Mr. Modi in the forthcoming election and in all probability, Mr. Modi would stay as the Prime Minister of India till 2029.

The question is as to what would be the impact of Mr.Modi’s leadership in India during the next five years.

Mr. Modi, who seems to be in the peak of health inspite of his age of 73 and is known to work for around 18 hours a day, is likely to continue the same policies, programmes and priorities that he followed and practiced during the last ten years.

There is likely to be spectacular economic and industrial growth in the next five years in India under Mr. Modi’s stewardship. There would be greater stress on utilising and adopting modern technology practices and bringing the benefits of such technologies to Indian masses. With Mr. Modi’s successful outreach with other countries, the technological cooperation with advanced countries would be a win win situation for India as well as the advanced countries.

What personal priorities?

As a person, Mr. Modi has no personal interests to target or family interest to boast about. Perhaps, he has sense of personal ego like anyone else and he would desire to be known in the future history of India as one of the most dynamic Prime Ministers that India had with national pride and global out look.

Mr. Modi would continue to protect his image as a strong Prime Minister with national pride , patriotic fervour , courage of conviction and commitment to the national cause. To his level best, he would try to maintain his popular image in the country at every opportunity and retain his strong popular base in India.

Today, it is well recognised that no political leader in the opposition parties in India match Mr. Modi in any scale . Mr. Modi would try to keep this scale gap between him and other political leaders, both in the opposition ranks as well as in his own political party. In other words, Modi would continue to aim to remain “bigger” than his own political party BJP and it’s social wing RSS and all other political parties in India.

Concern of the critics

Even the sworn critics of Mr. Modi would agree with the above statements and views in their heart of hearts.

The critics would still crave for a political leadership in India that could challenge Mr. Modi and replace Mr. Modi’s party BJP during the 2029 national election, as possible practice in a healthy democratic country.

What future for Congress party?

Apart from BJP, Congress party is the only other significant national party in India .Unfortunately, Congress party has gained an image over the years as a party controlled by Sonia family unlike BJP , which is certainly not family controlled or dynastic controlled.

If Congress party were to emerge to challenge BJP in 2029 election, it has to undergo considerable structural change and procedural change in its style of functioning.

The basic requirement is that the Congress party should be able to get rid of control of Sonia family in letter and spirit, as such control has let down the party at national level and it has given a negative image as a family controlled party.  

Congress party needs new leadership and one doubts whether Sonia family would allow this to happen.

In any case, with the drubbing that the Congress party is likely to receive in 2024 election, there is bound to be some upheaval at different levels in the party and Sonia’s leadership would be challenged. There is bound to be internal turmoil in the Congress party in the next one or two years and perhaps, something good will happen for the Congress party.

The time for introspection and new leadership of Congress party would emerge . With Mr. Modi unlikely to be continuing in political sphere after the year 2029, the rejuvenated Congress party could come on its own and even attain power in the 2029 parliamentary election, if the emerging leadership of the party can see the writing on the wall.

Whither communist parties in India?

The communist parties in India , which was once considered as a national level party, appears to have lost its sheen over the years which is unfortunate. This has happened due to the ego of the leaders of the party , which has resulted in the party being split . Today, communist parties are conspicuous by lack of sense of direction . Alignment with other political parties with no common principles have eroded the party’s image as a principled party.

The communist party too can emerge as a significant counter force for Mr. Modi’s leadership, if it can get the benefit of newer leadership which can reorient the priorities based on current scenario, without sacrificing the basic philosophy of fighting against oppression and inequalities. It has to necessarily get rid of its obsession with trade union movement, as it has largely now become irrelevant

There is lot of scope and all that is required is that fresh ideas have to come from people , who can shape policies without being bogged down with outdated strategies.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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