Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a year into his second term. He's still the only game in town for India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 9, 2019.

(CNN)It's been a year since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a second term after securing a crushing victory, becoming the country's first leader since the 1970s to do so with a clear parliamentary majority.

During his campaign, Modi faced questions about India's mixed economic performance in the previous five years, but he won over voters with promises to shore up national security and by pushing a Hindu nationalist agenda.
In the past six months, he's faced two significant challenges: nationwide protests over a controversial citizenship law, which led to violent attacks on Muslims, and the threat of thousands of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.
His handling of the latter has earned praised at home and abroad. But the biggest test is arguably to come -- reopening the country while keeping its 1.3 billion people safe.
    Here are five things we've learned about the Indian leader during the past year.

    Element of surprise: a Modi hallmark

    At 8 p.m. on March 24, Modi gave just four hours' notice of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, sending millions of people scrambling for groceries, medicines and other essentials.
    Perhaps worst affected were the millions of migrant workers who travel from rural areas to work in cities each year. In the lockdown, work suddenly dried up, leaving many of them stranded without pay. Many were forced to walk vast distances due to the public transport shutdown -- and not all of them made it.
    Modi's sudden decision -- accompanied by poor planning and execution -- left local administrations confused over what was and wasn't allowed, such as exemptions for online grocery deliveries amid the halt on all e-commerce operations.
    "This is a part of his governing style and it can work during normal times but it's not a good way to operate in a time of crisis where you throw surprises at 1.3 billion people," said Vivek Dehejia, a professor of economics at Carleton University in Ottawa.