The Indonesian And Indian Elections

Its a beautiful Saturday morning - beside the roses in the garden. Here are some thoughts.

1. Indonesian elections

Indonesia and India have both had their general elections. Jokowi has won his second term as Indonesia's president, securing over 80 million votes. His closest rival Prabowo received over 60 million votes. After the results became known Prabowo "supporters" refused to accept the outcome and caused some chaos in Jakarta. Seven people died in the ensuing violence and disruptions. 

Prabowo is the former son-in-law of the late President Suharto. His whole life (military, political and even business) seems to be troublesome. Indonesia has not heard the last of him yet.

Jokowi has made great strides in developing Indonesia and he has said that in his second term he will focus on developing human capital. A sizeable portion of Indonesia's budgets will be allocated to developing human capital. 

Their growth rates have been consistent (around 5%) in the past five years and the same is expected for 2019.

For the past five years Indonesia has been on a sounder footing and it is likely that the next five years will be better.  Majulah Indonesia.

2. Indian elections 

Over in India Narendra Modi and the BJP have won a huge landslide victory. 

Official data shows BJP won 303 of 542 seats
21 more than the 282 it had won in 2014
The BJP can now form the government on its own. 
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 351 seats 
The once mighty Congress party was almost wiped out with only 52 seats. 

There are pluses and minuses in the BJP's victory. 

A big factor is the majority perception of Modi as being incorruptible. To a large extent this is true of Modi personally. 

But it is not true for the rest of India which has always been a highly corrupted country.

In the initial Modi years the economy see sawed and slid downwards. Modi seems to have sorted out the economic growth by 2017.  The Indian economy has seen strong growth of above 7% and will likely see strong growth in 2019. (This is what the analysts say ok.)

But there are other negatives which will likely become more apparent in India over the next few years.

The BJP is a hardline hindu party. Some Indian critics associate the BJP with the brahmins.  The BJP has long been recognised as the political wing of the extremist RSS who project the hindutva ideology.  (Click here).

The saffron coloured flag of the RSSPicture taken in KL !

Since Modi and the BJP took over there has been a huge increase in projecting the hindu identity in what should be a secular India. There are not many reasons for this.  

The growing hindu non-hindu divide in their politics is indeed the larger issue in India. Especially the hindu - muslim divide.

Here is some cut and paste that shows this hindu - muslim divide that is associated with the BJP :  Number of Muslim MPs increases marginallyMuslim MPs increased from 4.2% in 2014 to 4.8% 26 Muslim MPs elected to Lok Sabha None of the 26 Muslim MPs belong to Hindu nationalist BJPaccording to data website, IndiaSpend. Muslims constitute 14% of India's population26 Muslim MPs have won parliamentary seats. But none of the newly elected 26 Muslim MPs belong to the BJP.  

On the other hand an anti-muslim hardliner has been elected as the BJP MP for Bhopal:
'Terror-accused' Hindu hardliner from Modi's BJP wins Controversial Hindu ascetic, BJP leader Pragya Thakur won in Bhopal49 yr-old accused of bomb attack on Muslims in 2006, six killedThakur is first person accused of "terrorism" to be fielded by major political partySo the BJP fielded a hindu terrorist accused of a bomb attack (in 2006) that killed six muslims. And he has won !

These elections have also shown a clear divide between north India and south India. (South India referring to the five states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka)

The BJP has lost heavily in the south (with the exception of Karnataka). 

BJP alliances won 30 of 130 Lok Sabha seats in South India

0 seats in Kerala, Andhra and Tamil Nadu

BJP won 25 of 28 seats in Karnataka

ZERO seats in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh!

Tamil Nadu is the most industrialised state in India.  Traditionally south India has been opposed to 'north Indian' politics. Like Sabah and Sarawak not liking the politics from the Peninsula.   South India has always been culturally diverse and more religiously plural. The south has always resisted the 'encroachment' of extremism and other unfamiliar ideas.

Having said that, India still has many problems to deal with. Here is more copy paste :
According to Moody's Investment Serviceseconomic growth 7.5% for 2018 and 2019. strong demand in eight core sectors: coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement, and electricity.
India still faces deep-rooted, persistent challenges in 2019
Population Growth  :  population grows 20% per decadeproblems in food deficits, sanitation deterioration, pollutionliving standards of most citizens not changing
One in three Indians lives below the poverty line.Malnutrition is a severe problem in India Only 6% of poor and 33% of  non-poor have access to tap water Sanitation massive ongoing problem govt unable to address
21% of poor, 62% of non-poor has access to toilets those without access live in urban slums and rural areasA large populace in rural areas still defecates in the open
Deteriorating Infrastructure
deteriorating infrastructure in business, education, healthcareIndia's power grid overstressedpower failures daily occurrences in Delhi, Mumbai
Public transportation, roads not kept pace with population growtheducation infrastructure backward with literacy rate of 72%healthcare - poor care in substandard facilities
Corruption - India 78th most corrupt country in the world in 2018.
experiencing decreasing press freedoms and shrinking civil society. Transparency International found India to be one of the worst offenders.
Doing business in a corrupt country is difficult little respect for the rule of lawcompeting government bureaucraciesunclear and unfair regulatory and taxation systemsYet India has sent rockets to Mars.  They have also built this :

This is the tallest statue in the world, built by Modi in Gujarat. This is the 600 feet tall statue of  Sardar Vellabhai Patel.  

This bronze clad statue was "Made In China" (putting a dent in the BJP's 'Make in India' vision).

The statue and all that surrounding construction cost over US$500 million !!
US$500 million is worth about  Indian Rupees 34.7 BILLION. 

Imagine the number of sewerage and sanitation systems that can be built with US$500 million.

Their priorities are just not right.   Maybe logical thinking is indeed a south Indian product.  
Posted by Syed Akbar Ali 

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