India History – The Fragmentation of Political Representation

The 1990s marked a profound turning point in the life of the country; there was a decline of the dominant party, a progressive fragmentation of political representation and the consequent emergence of coalition governments. The credibility of the INC (I) as guarantor of the secular state accused the repercussions induced by the conflicts between the different communities, by the accentuation of separatist tendencies (Assam, Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal) and by the emergence of groups terrorists. Those years were characterized by the growth of regional parties and formations with strong ethnic and religious references, the latter bearers of fundamentalist visions, such as the BJP, which in the space of a decade became one of the protagonists of the political scene, advocate of a program based on the affirmation of Hindu culture and on caste representation, with strong roots in the states of the Hindu belt in the north of the country. In the political elections of 1996 the INC (I) suffered a sharp defeat. In the short coalition governments of the following two years, relations with Pakistan worsened, especially due to the unresolved question of Kashmir, where the multiplication of Muslim separatist movements, also due to the influx of mercenaries from Islamic countries, led to a sort of internationalization of the conflict.

According to Itypeusa, the early elections of 1998 confirmed the growth of the BJP, which formed a government led by its leader AB Vajpayee, while the INC (I) was unable to translate the enthusiasm aroused by S. Maino Gandhi, widow, into votes. by Rajiv. The rise to power of the BJP was marked by nationalistic accents and by a foreign policy with aggressive tones, aimed at reaffirming the role of India as a regional power. Tension in the area immediately increased and relations with Pakistan intensified, while military confrontation in Kashmir accelerated violently. The resumption of nuclear tests after 24 years sparked a wave of renewed Hindu nationalism, but also provoked Pakistan’s response, with just as many nuclear tests. In 2002 the conflict between Hindus and Muslims re-erupted in the western and northern states,

In the 2004 elections there was the surprising victory of the INC (I) led by S. Gandhi and at the center of a network of regional alliances, the affirmation of which was also linked to the ability to represent the needs of rural India which had been cut off from economic progress. At the head of the government he was called M. Singh (Gandhi had resigned from her post after a violent campaign unleashed by the nationalist right against her because of her Italian origins), whose government launched (2006) economic and social reforms aimed at development of rural areas. However, the measures to ease inter-religious tensions have not put an end to the worrying terrorist activity. In 2007 Pratibha Patil, of the INC (I) was elected to the presidency of the Republic, who was succeeded in 2012 by Pranab Mukherjee, the candidate of the United Progressive Alliance (Upa, government coalition) who beat PA Sangma, supported by the BJP. In 2009, the consultations for the renewal of the 543 seats in the Lower House confirmed the United Progressive Alliance coalition, led by the Indian National Congress, at the head of the country, with M. Singh still in the role of prime minister, while the legislative elections held between April and May 2014 with record turnout (66.3%) recorded the clear victory of the center-right coalition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Hindu nationalist party BJP of N. Modi, which obtained the absolute majority of seats in Parliament, bringing the right back to power after ten years of opposition. Popular leader, able to solicit the emotional consensus of his electorate with a political program centered on the eradication of poverty and on expansive economic policies that have seen the consolidation of relations with Japan and the United States, despite the escalation of some tensions sectarians that could undermine the stability of the country by fueling internal political and social conflicts, in the elections held between April and May 2019 Modi obtained a clear affirmation, having won his party 341 seats and an absolute majority in the lower house.

In foreign policy, India continued on the path of thawing relations with Pakistan, further promoting the peace process undertaken in 2004. In the following decade, the spread of the phenomenon of international piracy in the waters of the Indian Ocean was at the root of the diplomatic crisis between India and Italy regarding the arrest in February 2012 of two Italian Navy riflemen accused of killing two Indian fishermen, mistaken for pirates, on a fishing boat off the coast of Kerala. In 2015 the two countries agreed to go to the International Court of Justice to resolve the dispute, and in July 2019 the Arbitral Tribunal will meet to decide on the jurisdiction of the case.

India History - The Fragmentation of Political Representation

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