Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected in 2019, and his Bharatiya Janata Party won an absolute majority of seats in the lower house of parliament. The government continued on its path toward the transformation of India into a Hindu majoritarian state. Measures included the removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in India, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, and plans for a National Register for Citizens (NRC) with the potential to strip many Muslims of their Indian citizenship.

India is faced with a weakening economy, slowing economic growth, and rising unemployment, a trend that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s poor infrastructure continues to hamper economic development. Despite reducing poverty over the past couple of decades, inequalities within Indian society have grown.

The government focused on implementing its Hindu-nationalist agenda to further mobilize domestic support. It was unable to promote manufacturing or attract foreign investment. Responding to the pandemic, the government further weakened democratic institutions by suspending parliament for a long time and then rushing through a range of contested reforms.

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