The surprise defeat of the Hindu Nationalist BJP-ruled alliance has sent shock waves across the nation. One national newspaper headlined the election results as "Shock and Awesome". This was a result no one expected. Most opinion polls predicted victory for the BJP alliance, while the exit polls predicted at the worst a hung parliament where the BJP would be able to gobble up an alliance once more.
At the bi-annual All India Christian Council conference in March 2004, in Hyderabad, we declared to the over 1,000 Christian leaders gathered from different parts of the nation that this election was going to be a make or break election. We urged the Christian leaders to pray and act. Around India much prayer went up for the nation. I was at a meeting in Chennai for 2,000 Christian leaders gathered for a day of prayer and fasting.
The BJP had taken control of the education system in India, rewriting textbooks and history books, getting full control of universities and was far into the process of indoctrinating the children and youth of the nation. It was giving State funds to RSS-run schools.
Further, the BJP manifesto of 2004 blatantly declared that they would bring a national anti-conversion law. Sangh Parivar outfits who attacked Christians were going free. Muslim victims of the Gujarat carnage still looked for justice.
The BJP had not backed down in its attempt to alter the Constitution given to the nation by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the towering Dalit leader.
On the back of the economic boom in India among the middle classes, the BJP alliance launched the election propaganda "India Shining." The BJP publicity managers forgot that for the 800 million Indians who are poor, oppressed, backward, Dalits, and minority, India was far from ...1
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