As millions around the globe continue to celebrate the election of India’s controversial new head of government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, millions of others have been left scratching their heads, wondering how a notorious perpetrator of human rights violations could be elected to lead the world’s largest democracy.
The global community has expressed serious concern regarding what Modi’s meteoric rise means for the developing Indian nation. While he has been hailed as a savior for India’s stagnating economy, both Modi and the Hindu Nationalist party he represents – the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) – have been linked to state-organized atrocities targeting minority communities.
Modi’s state administration oversaw the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat, which claimed over one thousand lives and injured thousands of others. The global community has held him accountable for this massacre, to the extent that up until his prime ministerial appointment, the U.S. government refused to grant him a visa.