A Modi supporter after a rally in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi, April 3, 2014.
Adnan Abidi / Courtesy Reuters

Between April 7 and May 12, some 814 million Indian voters will have a chance to exercise their fundamental democratic rights by selecting a new government. In a country that has faced scrutiny for its chaotic administration, contentious politics, and vast inequity, the democratic process will unfold in routine and expected ways. Despite India’s massive corruption problems, the ballot will be mostly free and fair. Voter turnout from all classes, and particularly the poor, will be substantial. Following a more recent precedent, no single party will gain an absolute majority in parliament. And, in the aftermath of a relatively smooth transfer of power, the new government will take the reins and begin the task of forming a cabinet.

Predictability also applies to foreign policy. Observers in the United States blanch at the prospect of a Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the candidate of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whom they believe may

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  • MANJARI CHATTERJEE MILLER is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University. She is the author of Wronged by Empire: Post-imperial Ideology and Foreign Policy in India and China.
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