INDIA: Anti-Gay Hindu Nationalist Party Takes Power In Landslide Election

The right wing Hindu nationalist party that supported India’s recent recriminalization of homosexuality has swept to power in a landslide election.

Via the Independent:

India’s ruling Congress party admitted defeat this morning as the Narendra Modi wave washed over the country in a scale few had predicted. Initial counting in the country’s general election pointed to a massive victory for his opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the worst ever performance for the Congress. As noisy victory celebrations involving drums and horns broke out outside the BJP’s headquarters in the centre of Delhi where 100,000 traditional Indian sweets had been ordered in preparation, a few streets away at the Congress’s offices, the mood was grey. “We accept defeat. We are ready to sit in the opposition,” Congress party spokesman Rajeev Shukla told reporters. “Modi promised the moon and stars to the people. People bought that dream.”

From the Associated Press:

Modi’s singular message on the economy has helped him ignore or beat back criticism of his personal life — including his strong links to a right-wing Hindu nationalist group, as well as his four-decade marriage to a retired school teacher he had never mentioned publicly until last month. Born in 1950, Modi will be India’s first prime minister born after the country’s violent 1947 partition and independence from imperial Britain. His rise marks a paradigm shift for the secular democracy after decades of welfare policies that have emphasized lifting the country’s impoverished. Modi has extolled the merits of trickle-down economics through industrialization. He also has maintained strong links with the conservative, paramilitary Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, which some describe as neo-fascist.

From the Voice Of America:

The right-wing Hindu nationalist party will return to its leadership role after 10 years, as the ruling Congress Party conceded defeat Friday. Modi’s critics remain uneasy about how the Hindu nationalist leader will govern a diverse nation with many religious minorities. As governor of Gujarat state, he was criticized for his handling of Hindu-Muslim rioting that killed more than 1,000 people in 2002. India’s Supreme Court cleared Modi of charges that he incited the violence.

(Tipped by JMG reader Jamie)