The seven-year itch is said to describe the sense of ennui among couples that have been together for that long. In the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his sustained assault on India’s democratic traditions since 2014 has left the country gasping for breath.

This is the first time that independent India has had a conservative government, at least on paper, with a strong majority for more than one term. Conservative politics is usually an uneasy alliance between social and economic conservatives. In theory, a lower-tax regime with minimal regulation leads to a dynamic economy with robust job growth, which often leads to the acceptance of more religion in the public sphere.

While there is plenty of data to dispute the assumptions of economic conservatism and job growth, political parties in liberal democracies are roughly split along these ideological lines.

Unfortunately, in the last seven years, India has experienced the worst of these possibilities. While India’s economy, and consequently its foreign policy, have been in a downward spiral under Modi’s leadership, Hindutva is ripping up the social fabric.

Policy failures

With macroeconomic factors like the government’s heightened borrowing, persistent inflation, historically high unemployment and rising household debt, Modi will be lucky to eke out an average of 6%-7%…

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