The Orbanisation of India? Before that, there was the Modi-fication of Hungary


Narendra Modi

Viktor Orban

The Orbanisation of India? Before that, there was the Modi-fication of Hungary. Now that Narendra Modi has decisively won re-election he is master of the narrative, the history books, of legislation and much, much more.

How much more can be best explained by considering the following:

  • The Election Commission of India’s unwillingness or inability to do anything about alleged campaign code violations by Mr Modi’s BJP during the election period. Also, the chief election commissioner decided not to publicise a dissenting opinion from the three-man panel responsible for campaign code issues.
  • Elections in Hungary are free but not fair with Prime Minister Viktor Orban having rewritten the constitution, dismantled checks and balances (“a US invention” unsuited to Europe, he says), muzzled the press, clamped down on civil society, manipulated elections and spread fear about security threats posed by Muslims and refugees.

On May 23, Mr Modi – victorious, happy – declared India had won by voting him to a second term.

In April 2018, Mr Orban said the following: “We have won. Hungary has won a great victory.”

Just as with Mr Modi’s BJP, Mr Orban’s Fidesz party won almost 49% of votes, compared with 45% in 2014. Just as Mr Modi’s 2019 campaign, Mr Orban’s 2018 re-election bid focused almost exclusively on the supposed threat to national sovereignty posed by the ‘other’.

Hungary, a young democracy, much younger than India, has become less democratic by most indices. It is a frightening thought.