Looking back on Narendra Modi’s first five years in office as India’s Prime Minister, it’s hard to find good news. Record-high joblessness, a stagnating economy, and continued widespread government corruption. With any other person, this would spell electoral defeat, but not for Modi. This week, the 68 year-old leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power for a second term, outperforming his results in 2014 that led him to power and picking up more than 300 seats in the Indian Parliament.
His first victory had been a complete shock. For an almost uninterrupted 60 years, the Congress Party had controlled India and its parliament with a system of patronage and a controlled economy. Congress – controlled by the family of independent India’s first leader Jawaharlal Nehru – expected to be returned this year to what they see as their rightful position running the country.