A majority of the public was completely taken in with the schemes of invigorating the economy through increased foreign investments and the reformed “one-size-fits-all” tax policy with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax in July 2017. However, Modi’s notion of “achche din” directly translating to “good days” from Hindi, was quick to unravel. Overnight demonetization was a measure to root out corruption and cease the circulation of black money, but caused marked disruptions in the economy. The effects of this are widely debated. Consequently, World Bank projections of a rapidly improving GDP growth rate were also slashed from 7.5 to six percent. This was attributed to a weakening market demand, low investment and shortcomings within the Indian banking sector. The estimate of GDP growth for fiscal year 2019 reduced further to 5.6 percent as per the Moody’s Investors report. Furthermore, leaked ministry reports showed that India’s unemployment rate spiked to over six percent in financial year 2018. This was including a loss of about 1.5 million jobs following demonetization.
2019 saw a reelection of the Bharatiya Janata party, giving Narendra Modi a second term as prime minister. Recent months had seen open criticism across the country, with the government’s myriad controversies spilling into the socio-political sphere. Diplomatic relations with Pakistan had deteriorated with two military surgical strikes in 2016 and 2018. Communal matters became the forefront of national politics in the months after Modi’s reelection. With the revocation of Article 370 and Kashmir’s autonomous status in August 2019, followed by the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in December 2019, the country was divided and the government widely critiqued. This resulted in multiple protests across major cities, contentious debates, even leading to violence in many instances. It remains to be seen how Modi reacts, and what measures will turn this situation around to ensure a calmer journey for this government.