The official results of the nationwide Indian elections were declared on Tuesday 4 June showing the ruling BJP winning a much reduced share of parliamentary seats than all expectations, restoring belief in the inherent success of the world’s largest democracy in spite of poverty, inequality and religiosity.

Although the Modi led NDA alliance will still form the government with more than 290 seats, the opposition INDIA alliance led by Rahul Gandhi winning 230 seats have demonstrated that the Indian electorate rejected the climate of polarisation, religious bigotry and hatred espoused by Hindutva ideology during the past decade.

The ruling Hindu Nationalist party led by Modi, BJP had repeatedly made clear that their goal at this election was to get 400 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, the lower chamber of the Indian Parliament, establishing a one party dictatorship, changing the constitution of India and thereby establish a Hindu Rashtra or nation.

Instead the Indian electorate, with a great track record of high political consciousness and aware of its power to bring down arrogant politicians throat its democratic history, have again reaffirmed democracy in a multireligious and multicultural India of tomorrow.

The elections during the last decade and now in 2024 prove that you can fool the Indian electorate some of the time but not all the time and the world’s largest democracy has an inherent capacity for damage control and restoring itself over time.

Indian voters brought down Indira Gandhi’s Congress party’s government during the 1970’s when got arrogant indulging in dictatorial excesses but then  promptly restored her after teaching her a lesson bringing down the Janata Party government due to their incompetence.

Modi had run a election campaign about himself in pursuit of absolute power styling himself as a champion of Hindus, God-send, trying to persuade the majority that he was bent upon taking revenge for the centuries old Muslim rule of India, demonising Muslims with Islamophobic rants during his divisive electoral campaign.

After ruling for a decade, the BJP had consolidated its power transforming most Indian institutions to favour its Hindutva agenda including law enforcement, judiciary, media, academia  and even the electoral commission, thereby impinging on free speech, rule of law, communal harmony and academic freedoms.

But this strategy has backfired during the 2024 elections, indicating that Indians believe in secularism,  respect for a pluralistic society with protection of minority rights, favouring equality, justice and communal harmony and that there is a limit to the politics of polarisation and hatred in India.

The opposition, led by Rahul Gandhi who has worked hard for years through travelling the length and breadth of India through his Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Nyay March meeting millions of people projecting a vision of India for all, did very well against media defamation, arrests, freezing of bank accountsand other dirty tactics employed by the BJP government over the years to disempower it.

The Ram Mandir stunt of inaugurating the unfinished temple in Ayodhya over the ruins of the Babari mosque by Modi in January this year in order to garner Hindu majority votes failed totally where BJP candidate even lost the seat during this election in the Faizabad district where the temple is located.

Indian vision of secularism does not mean negation of religion but equal respect to all religions and equality of all religious communities, rather than hate on the basis different religious identities, in order live in harmony and work together for progress and prosperity for all its citizens.