Dissecting the Election Results: What Is Next for India?
- This event has passed.
Dissecting the Election Results: What Is Next for India?
5 June @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote share than it had in 2014. The opposition Indian National Congress, failed to improve on its dismal 2014 showing and now faces an existential crisis. The BJP’s win came as a personal vote of confidence in PM Modi despite a fraught election campaign. What should one expect from the election results this time? Now that the election exercise is done and dusted, is this another chance to bring in the ‘achche din’ (good days) as promised five years ago?
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you for discussion with Arnab Kumar, Dr. Mukulika Banerjee, Radhika Iyer, John Elliott and Dr. John Hemmings on the outcome of India’s General Election.
Arnab Kumar is leading India’s Government’s strategy and implementation of Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, FinTech and Blockchain initiatives at National Institution for Transforming India (NITI AAYOG). Arnab Kumar is a former Investment Banker with a knowledge of Asia and Americas.
Dr. Mukulika Banerjee is Director of the South Asia Centre at LSE. She is currently completing a book manuscript based on 15 years of ethnographic data of rural voters and their multivalent engagement with elections and voting activities in West Bengal, India. As part of this interest, Mukulika also prepared a BBC Radio 4 documentary on ‘Sacred Elections’ for the Indian national elections in 2009; and a current grant from the Indo-European Networking Programme in the Social Sciences entitled EECURI (Explanations of Electoral Change in Urban and Rural India) has allowed her to expand this analysis to cover state and Panchayat elections.
Radhika Iyer is NDTV’s Chief Correspondent.
John Elliott is a Delhi-based journalist and author, “Implosion: India’s Tryst with Reality”. John Elliot has over 25 years in covering Asia, initially for the FT, then The Economist, New Statesman, and Fortune magazines.
Dr. John Hemmings is Director of the Asia Studies Centre and Deputy Director of Research at the Henry Jackson Society and an Adjunct Fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to his doctoral studies, he was a visiting fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS and a research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall, working on Northeast Asia security and defence policies.
On Wednesday June 5th 2019, the Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Delhi-based journalist John Elliott, program director at NITI Aayog, Arnab Kumar, and Radhika Iyer, NDTV’s Chief Correspondent to discuss their key takeaways from the recent election in India. The event was moderated by HJS’s Dr. John Hemmings. Modi’s recent victory highlighted profound implications for the Indian democratic system. This election was the largest and most expensive democratic election in history, outspending the 2016 US election by 2.2 billion dollars. Each speaker addressed their insights from the election and suggestions for India’s future.
John Elliot began the discussion by describing Indian political trends that he and others witnessed during this election. He first emphasized that although Modi won with an overwhelming victory not everybody you voted BJP actually really supported Modi. He said, “many, especially the young, voted BJP because they saw no alternative.” The overarching theme of Elliot’s remarks was that India needs an alternative, a viable opposition party. He also discussed how politics in India is becoming increasingly openly discussed. Open political discussion on actual policy implications rather than just the politics itself is something that has never occurred in the past. Elliott suggested that this is creating a momentum that the country desperately needs to maintain a healthy democratic system. Elliot finished his remarks by stressing again that there needs to be an alternative leftist voice to emerge at the top of the opposition.
Arnab Kumar was the second to speak on the panel. He discussed his personal opinions about the government’s priorities before and after the election. From his experience from working in government, he talked about India’s goal of financial inclusion and hearing the voices of people who are not heard. Kumar indicated that the addition of specialized credit companies and the power of creating infrastructural financial institutions help people at the larger scale. Kumar also discussed the priority of the government to increase the “access, availability and affordability of quality healthcare.” He said the current government’s mandate had the continuity and momentum needed for infrastructure-building. Lastly, Kumar described the government’s initiative to foster an efficient innovative system and startup ecosystem. In closing, he underlined his optimistic outlook on the direction India is heading with the help of these government initiatives.
Last to speak, Radhika Iyer, focused her remarks on the influence that social media had in the election. She first emphasized the magnitude of the election, with 900 million citizens who were eligible to cast their vote. Iyer said that the influence of the tech companies – Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google, and so on – was unprecedented. The first “social media election” was in 2014, and at that time India had 200 million internet users. In 2019, the number of internet users jumped to 648 million. Iyer mentioned how the explosion of social media has made the technology almost indispensable which exacerbates the influence that politicians have but can also be cause for concern. One concern she mentioned was the increase in the dissemination of fake news and misinformation. Other concerns Iyer voiced were the challenges of unemployment and alike Elliott, the lack of an opposition.
After their remarks, the floor was opened for questions. The audience provided a range of very insightful questions and remarks. The speakers discussed topics including the “dirtiness” of the election system, how the government might engage with tech companies, businesses funding Modi’s campaign, and so on. Despite differences in opinion and diverse political views, the panel discussion provided very intuitive takeaways and pressing concerns from the recent election and the future of Indian politics.
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued