Will US-driven West’s Modi dream turn into a nightmare?
On the first day of trading after the swearing in of the BJP-led NDA Government, the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) benchmark 30-share Sensex plummeted by 167.37 points (0.68 per cent) to 24,549.51 while the National Stock Exchange of India’s (NSE) 50-share CNX Nifty dropped 41.05 points (0.56 per cent) to 7,318. This was a screaming reflection of the dismay that the US and its subordinate Western ‘allies’ like the UK and France, as well as their numerous collaborators in India, felt at the first few steps taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The first crushing blow they received was the composition of the 45-member Modi ministry, which was 100 per cent political (almost entirely consisting of newly elected Lok Sabha MPs) and did not have a single technocrat. This came as a surprise jolt to the markets as large chunks of the Indian bureaucracy, policy fraternity, academia and media had been creating a shrill tempo for months in favour of induction of non-elected technocrats rather than elected people’s representatives to key ministries in order to ensure a pro-West, anti-Indian economic policy regime for the country.
In fact, Tuesday’s mauling of the markets was so widespread that 21 of the 30 Sensex scrips and eight of the 12 S&P BSE sectoral indices ended in the red. While several anti-Indian Indian news channels were trying to give various spins to this behavior, the decisive reason for their (unexpected) absence of a party mood in the markets was the abrupt drop in foreign institutional investor (FII) interest in Indian equity.
And PM Narendra Modi’s aggressive first-day-in-office- drive to send a strong, unambiguous message of South Asian unity to the US-led West only added to their newly discovered misery!