Nationalism is in vogue in the world’s largest states.
President Vladimir Putin has called upon the specter of nationalism in staking Russia’s claim to Crimea and as a justification for destabilizing Ukraine’s east. He and the Russian military have acted to protect and, where possible, bring “home” his nation’s ethnic kin.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a World War II shrine, in spite of predicable outrage in China. While, in China, President Xi Jinping has emphasized nationalist themes in advancing his “Chinese dream.”
Now India has elected Narendra Modi as prime minister by a landslide. He’ll be sworn in next week. The streets will be packed, the media will be hysterical, markets will rise, and the hopes of the poor will soar.
But it seems unlikely to last.
“The fiscal situation is much worse than is known publicly,” says Arun Shourie, an economist and a former minister in India government. “Maneuverability for the government will be limited,” he said.
It will be tough to turn around an economy with a growth rate that has declined to a little over 4 percent — too low to create the millions of jobs needed.