India: Hindu nationalists lose power in Karnataka

One of India’s richest states, southwestern Karnataka, opted out of the ruling Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, in regional elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party has attracted attention over the past five years with anti-minority laws, which particularly impact Christians.

In 2022, the local government in Karnataka implemented the harshest anti-conversion law in India to the detriment of the local Christian community. The Asianews news agency reported signs that many Hindus are also leaving the BJP. The election results show “society’s reaction to hate preachers and aberrations of constitutional bodies at the expense of the lives of ordinary Indians and democratic values,” Asianews quoted Global Christian Council of India President Sajan K. George as saying.

According to Asianews, Bangalore Archbishop Peter Machado expressed his desire that the new regional government to be formed “serves the people well” in Karnataka and separates politics and religion.

Karnataka is one of India’s leading industrial states and, with its capital, Bangalore, is considered the country’s technology hub. The election is seen as an important indicator for next year’s election, in which Narendra Modi will seek a third term.


Ambrose Fernandez

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