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Hindu nationalism could hinder modern development

After Modi's state poll victory, Nepal and other neighboring countries must deal with India's expanded influence

| India
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Activists take part in a rally to support ethnic Madhesis and condemning killing protesters in Rajbiraj, during a demonstartion in Kathmandu, Nepal, March 9.   © Reuters

On March 19, Nepal's Rastriya Prajatarntra Party, which represents former royalists in what used to be the world's only Hindu monarchy, offered an amendment to remove the word "secular" from the constitution. This came just two days after India's ruling Bharatiya Janta Party named Yogi Adityanath, a hard-line Hindu priest, as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh after a landslide victory in state elections.

Uttar Pradesh is India's most populous state with 200 million people and would be the world's sixth largest country on its own. BJP did not field any Muslim candidates in a state where 20% of the population are Muslims, but decided to highlighted the appeal of Hinduism to consolidate power and prepare for national elections in 2019 in a sign that "populist democracy" is replacing "constitutional democracy."

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