While increased nationalism fuelled by the military air strikes was opportune from a timing perspective, we certainly do not believe it was a major factor in the election result. It is also somewhat insulting to the intellect of the electorate by assuming that hundreds of millions of people would be swayed by one event.
In our view, the elite did not see what the common person saw. While the upper classes were busy attempting to besmirch Modi’s image, claiming he increased religious violence, unemployment and a dangerous centralisation of power in the Prime Minster; the common person was witnessing a meaningful uplift in quality of life. Numerous examples illustrate this: the number of toilets built, bank accounts opened, cooking gas connections made, crop insurance schemes rolled out, medical coverage, rural electrification, brick houses built, female empowerment, access to cheap reliable mobile phone data, uninterrupted power supply, and yes, a pride in the growing global stature of their PM – the hardworking common man who rose from amongst them; Modi – the tea-vendor, whom the political establishment mocked.