I would normally put this in either the dreams post for March or in a predictions update post, but there’s additional information that is long enough to justify its own blog post. One of our readers has been curious about what is going to happen in the future and this confirms the need for this post. Though much of this has already been mentioned in my 2017 predictions page, having it more prominently featured will get across to the intended parties how serious this warning is.
I haven’t written about India much lately, though I said the nation could be in the midst of a golden period previously. However, due to recent developments on the ground, there’s a chance that India will go from a beacon upon the nations to a country in a doldrum not seen since its colonized days. Narendra Modi, their prime minister, came into office as a promoter of globalization and remaking India as a 21st century economy. Despite the boasts and promises, little has changed on the ground and many of the issues he’s needed to address have gone completely unattended. This largely comes down to his political base, the Bharatiya Janata Party (or BJP) stubbornly standing in the way of progress on multiple fronts. Most offensively, it comes to the issue of the refusal to repeal the centuries old ban on gay relationships, though other issues are relevant as well.
India had a major breakthrough for progress on gay rights in 2009 when the high court struck down the sodomy ban and legalized gay relationships. However, four years later, the supreme court of India overturned the lower court ruling leaving the ban in place until the parliament acted to overturn it themselves. Despite a massive increase of arrests for this “offense” (14% of them being minors), there has not been any significant movement on the ground towards repealing this ordinance. In fact, not only has there been no progress, members of the government have used the ban to make threats towards foreign dignitaries and their domestic partners. Previous attempts by the parliament have seen significant failure and there doesn’t appear to be any action on this front in the near future. This comes despite it being major headlines in recent years and in spite of major pressure from the international community to ditch these grotesque laws. Modi’s refusal to push for this repeal is his ultimate sin. His continuous refusal to use his political clout to repeal it and come into the 21st century will ultimately cost him his job and any form of respect from the international community.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the fallout from the ban comes with his misguided economic policies. From the notorious cash ban that has caused panic and instability domestically (though it has been eased slightly since) to the repressive crackdowns on union organization, Modi’s desire to be a capitalist superpower is coming at the cost of the rights of the working class. Couple this with his support of apartheid practices in Israel, the nations bigotry towards muslims and the surge of rapes on the ground (both of women and gay men) and we have a recipe for disaster in the making.
2017 is make or break year for the billion plus nation of India as a whole. In 2014, I said that India had a chance to become the world’s superpower on the heels of major downfalls from the US and China. However, if India (particularly Modi) doesn’t begin to make progress on these fronts in the next month or so, then India will diverge onto another path; one where its dreams of international influence crumble on the weight of religious extremists in Modi’s government refusing to emerge into the 21st century with their biases and bigotry evaporated. How India will fare in years to come largely stems from action (or inaction) on these fronts. Time is running out. I hope the Indian people and Modi make the correct choice. It would be a tragedy if stubbornness turns a nation of promise into ruins.