Matthews Asia Snapshot

Holi 2018

Week of 01 March 2018

Bowls of colored powder sit ready for Holi, the Indian festival that marks the beginning of spring. Revelers throw the powder, mixed with water, to cake each other in color. This Hindu celebration of new beginnings—usually a religious and cultural affair—has more recently taken on some politically partisan overtones since the 2017 landslide election victories of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s populous territory. Modi has vowed more inclusive politics and broad-based reforms, which may also be cause for celebration. In November, credit rating agency Moody's backed BJP-led reforms by upgrading India’s credit rating for the first time since 2004. The International Monetary Fund also gave a major boost to Modi’s economic policies in January when it forecasted 7.4% growth for the Indian economy in 2018.

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