India — June 2009

Sociopolitical Situation

As predicted, the Congress Party won the majority of votes for the 2009 parliamentary elections. It will be Congress’s second term, providing it with more stability to govern. The wins, however, were not sweeping. Congress has formed delicately balanced coalitions with regional parties, choosing a large number of government ministers from various coalition partners.

The election has slowed for now the aspirations of the Hindu fundamentalist party — the BJP — and it allies, which had predicted a sweeping victory. In the southern state of Kerala, the once dominant Communist Party lost all its seats to Congress. The Communists also lost in the state of West Bengal, where they had governed in the majority for the past 38 years. These losses have split the party.

Although it has been said that the world economic crisis would not shock the Indian economy, largely due to its stringent control systems and monitoring methods, the cost of living for the common man continues to grow day-by-day. There is stagnation in all kinds of business and currency transactions.

Religious Situation

Sporadic atrocities on Christian individuals and institutions in many states throughout India may have contributed to the BJP’s loss in the parliamentary elections. Kerala’s Christians, who typically once voted Communist, overwhelmingly voted Congress. The situation among Christians, now, is rather quiet nationwide. This is mainly because of the conciliatory approach that has been taken by the church hierarchy as well as support from political parties and government machineries.

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