PI Briefing | No. 23 | Dignity, not division

Morena surged in Mexico’s elections following major gains for the working class, while BJP’s hate-filled campaign lost the majority in India’s Lok Sabha.
In the Progressive International's 23rd Briefing of 2024, we bring you news from India and Mexico on the completion of their elections. If you would like to receive our Briefing in your inbox, you can sign up using the form at the bottom of this page.

This week, two major countries across two distant continents held two historic elections, and their two ruling parties were re-elected. But that’s where the similarities between Mexico and India’s elections end.

Mexico saw a super-majority result for MORENA and its president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, securing nearly 36,000,000 votes and 30 percent margin over the opposition: a record result in the history of Mexican democracy. Sheinbaum will now become Mexico’s first woman president, taking the reins from her party’s founder, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who has nearly finished his constitutionally mandated single six-year term.

A similar triumph for the BJP and its two-term prime minister Narendra Modi was expected in India. After years of electoral manipulation and judiciary capture, Modi’s third term in power was considered an inevitability. But rather than consolidate the majority the BJP won in 2019, Modi’s party lost 63 seats — and its majority in the Lok Sabha.

Together, these elections tell a story of the enduring pursuit of dignity: an electoral force that can be suppressed, but cannot be contained.

MORENA’s historic victory is the fruit of that struggle. For six years, AMLO’s government to introduce ‘Mexican Humanism’ into a political system that was once dominated by corruption. Por el bien de todos, primero los pobres, they said: “For the good of all, first the poor.”

Against predictions that of the country’s imminent collapse under AMLO’s left-wing leadership, the living standards of the country soared: millions were moved out of poverty, real wages were raised by 35 percent, minimum wages tripled, holiday time doubled, and exploitative subcontracting came under government crackdown. State pensions doubled, and became universal for all over-65s.

For the first time in decades, the people of Mexico saw themselves in their government. AMLO finished his term with a record approval rating of 80 percent. According to Gallup, public confidence in Mexico’s government doubled across AMLO’s six years in power: from just 29 percent to more than 60.

Modi’s ten years at the helm of the Indian Union have not yielded equivalent advances for his country’s poor and working class. Rather than base his campaign in the advances won for ordinary people, Modi mainlined divisive and Islamophobic rhetoric as part of a strategy of divide and rule.

Reports suggest that the BJP threatened candidates from opposition parties to withdraw from the race in at least three constituencies. Evidence of suppression votes, especially from Muslim communities, was reported in multiple constituencies across the country. BJP leaders barely concealed their dog-whistles, calling the Indian Muslims “infiltrators” engaging in “jihad” in public addresses to thousands of voters.

The path was set for a dictatorship in all but name. In a viral interview weeks before the election results, Modi declared that “he was not born biologically, but was sent by God.” His party would set a plan for the next “thousand years.”

Such rhetoric proved insufficient sustenance for millions of Indian voters facing double-digit inflation on basic foods - roti (cereals), dal (pulses), and sabzi (vegetables) - in the last year.

Now, Mexico’s Fourth Transformation — so named for its lineage in the three prior transformations, the War of Independence, the Reform War and the Revolution — advances. India’s slide into Hindu supremacist fascism, meanwhile, stalls. The success or failure of each project will be defined by the power of the progressive forces locked in step with the popular pursuit of dignity. We stand with them.

Latest from the Movement

Indian heatwave underscores the need to Make Amazon Pay

As India suffers a scorching heatwave, Amazon warehouse workers are facing unworkable conditions. Warehouse workers have been forced to rest in locker rooms due to lack of proper facilities. Amazon India Workers Association has been organising workers and urging Amazon to provide rest areas and implement immediate heat protection measures.

PYM takes on Maersk

Palestinian Youth Movement announces new, transnational campaign targeting shipping and logistics giant Maersk, which transports weapons and weapons components to Israel to support their ongoing genocide in Gaza. Find out more about the campaign here.

Pakistan’s labour movement won’t be silenced

Pakistani trade unionist Baba Latif Ansari led a group of factory workers to the labour office in Faislabad demanding the full implementation of labour laws. Latif Ansari, out of bail for demanding rights for workers, is facing legal assault by the Punjab state government.

The PI launches inaugural summer school

We live in turbulent times. The global economic centre of gravity gradually shifts from West to East, North to South, challenging the centuries-long dominance of the Atlantic axis. The process is unleashing violent tremors around the world — from spiralling inflation and seizing supply chains to hot war and ongoing genocide.

How should we make sense of these epic transformations? What is really going on in the global economy? And what does it mean for people like you and me?

Every day, we receive emails from our subscribers seeking answers to these questions. Scrolling our feeds and flipping through newspapers is not enough, they tell us. We need a place for people to read, listen, and exchange perspectives.

That is why we are launching the inaugural Summer School of the Progressive International — on the past, present, and future of global capitalism — and inviting you to enrol now.

PI delegation in China

The Progressive International dispatched a week long delegation to Shanghai and Beijing to engage in academic and political exchanges and lay the foundations for closer engagement between the PRC and the PI membership. The delegation, which included members of the secretariat Varsha Gandikota-Nellutla and Pawel Wargan, held meetings at Fudan University, East China Normal University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the International Department of the Communist Party of China.

Art of the week: Siddhesh Gautam is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Delhi who often draws attention to the anti-caste movement in India.

Savitrimai and Fatima (2023) depicts educators Savitribai Phule (born 1831), a pioneer of India's feminist movement, alongside Fatima Sheikh, her “most dependable ally” who is credited as “the first Muslim woman teacher of India” by Nasreen Sayyed, a leading scholar on Sheikh.

The image, which is based on the only photograph of the two, is part of a series of work titled “Women in anti-caste movement” by Gautam, centers women who have not only “fought for a just society in terms of caste but gender as well."

Available in
EnglishSpanishPortuguese (Brazil)FrenchGerman
Privacy PolicyManage CookiesContribution Settings
Site and identity: Common Knowledge & Robbie Blundell