HW English
Santosh Nair

Post-truth: Modi vs. Trump

Modi

The psyche of the current electorate is gradually undergoing a change, the world over!! While the behaviour could be attributed to the lack of creativity and imagination in the existing leadership, it is also due to the need to curb extensive corruption not evenly apportioned.

Corruption is looked upon more pragmatically by the contemporary electorate tending to lean on the lesser corrupt of the lot. The idea of corruption is fast emerging more as means to liquidate the organizational claims rather than inflate personal wealth. While the former is condonable, the latter is unvindicable and could warrant admonishment. Organizational claims could be for funding the party’s promotional activities, electioneering expenses including funding vote banks and the lethal horse trading as well. These are considered mandatory and inevasible.

The psyche was indeed evolving rapidly in India too and the manifestation was being felt eventually. The idea was to elect a radical to lead the country and the narrative had to be rewritten….!!!  The age-old patriarchs like L. K. Advani, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, M. M. Joshi and Manmohan Singh failed to cut ice with the masses nor could the likes of Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari march past their potent shield!!

Modi emerged triumphant in an era when the electorate was in the quest of a less corrupt yet more imaginative and innovative leadership. Modi could pass the acid test mainly because he appeared and orated like a dynamite, waiting with bated breath to bring about a revolution!! While he acceded to the side-lining of the dormant office bearers, he preferred to lead a convoy of efficient men (??) into the mainstream to initiate the process of inclusive growth.

Sadly, enough the Godhra carnage and the subsequent Hindu-Muslim stir did not act as a deterrent to his elevation.

Modi’s rhetoric was legendary and unparalleled. He vowed to redeem the concept of “Acche Din”, he promised the moon….!!

  1. He talked of a 56” chest that will send a shiver down the Pakistani’s spine.
  2. He talked of repealing Article 370 that gives the state of Kashmir autonomous status.
  3. He talked of depleting black money in the Swiss banks and depositing Rs.15,00,000/- in the account of each citizen of India!!
  4. He talked of flinging the outdated Mnrega into the deep sea!!
  5. He talked of rooting out corruption from the system. “Na Khaunga, na khane doonga”.
  6. He talked of bringing in unprecedented economic growth!!

The gullible commoner was swept off his feet by his blazing rhetoric while the nation was handed over to the Modi administration on a platter!!

Four years down the line, ceasefire violation tripled so did the illegal immigration of militants in the valley. While Article 370 remains a pipe dream, Modi could not even bring normalcy in a strife-ridden Kashmir. The Modis and the Choksis, Mallyas and Bhandaris fled with our hard-earned money to a foreign location with ease and panache as we yearned for the 15 lacs to be deposited in our account.

Meanwhile, our beloved PM could merely but successfully polarize the majoritarian vote bank and create/widen the religious divide which led to religious unrest, incidents of mob lynching and moral policing.

The Modi dynamics surface particularly at times when his popularity plummets rapidly:

Case-1: Surgical strikes at a time when his Kashmir policies (or the lack of it) faced disapproval leading to religious unrest.

Case-2: Demonetization: When he failed disastrously in getting the Swiss money back from their banks. Not that he tried hard for it but he wished to keep his near and dear ones at bay.

Case-3: GST implementation: Took advantage of a clear mandate to push through this reform albeit being against it during the UPA regime.

Modi, however still partially retains the public trust despite the erosion of the promised land!!! Nevertheless, it could still be the TINA factor as well….

The US of A was saddled with a familiar and noted political personality, Hillary Clinton and a less known rival Donald Trump as Presidential candidates. Hillary was the favourite of the connoisseur and aspired for an easy win, while Donald was the underdog.

Many of his public statements were controversial or false, he loathed the media who reciprocated with the same venom and rancour. He indulged openly in sexual escapades and was known to be promiscuous. He had a reputation that did not align well with the American psyche.

..and lo and behold..!!

The US of A upset the political applecart of a well-known and ostensibly revered Hilary Clinton and voted to power a virtual underdog Donald Trump!! No sooner he assumed office 23 high ranking officials faced the axe, including Sally Yates, US Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, FBI Director, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State and Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director.

Donald Trump got into the business of serious administration right from the word go!!

Executive order 13767 was passed aiming to build a new wall along Mexico – US border to stop illegal immigrants. He has asked money from Mexico as well to fund this venture. Executive order 13769 / 13780 were passed banning citizens of several Muslim countries from entering the US. The immigrants were turning out to be a menace for the peace-loving American community.

The family separation policy did cause great agony and angst among parents of the 2300 children from whom they had to forcibly separate. The Trump administration described it as a “zero tolerance’ policy and was hence averse to any noncompliance.

Moderate Americans found the policies unpalatable and contrary to the tolerant nature of the United States. Many of the US citizens cared a damn, but a good measure of them found them suited to their needs. More importantly, the containment of immigrants was an important constituent during his presidential campaign.

Withdrawal from the Paris agreement was a pledge he had taken during his campaign and was hence duty bound to impose the same in letter and spirit. The Paris accord could undermine the US economy and put them at a permanent disadvantage. This is in keeping with his America First policy!!

To repeal the net neutrality and the Affordable Care Act was Trumps technique of opposing everything put forth by the Obama Administration.

Today he commands a 41.4% popularity among the electorate which is comparable to Barack Obama (45.9), Bill Clinton (48.0%), George H. W. Bush (59.8%), George W Bush (67.3%), Ronald Reagen (41.1%), Jimmy Carter (39.0%), General Ford (44.1%) and Richard Nixon (55.8%) during their first term. While each of the head of state enjoyed a second term, Donald Trump has a long way to go and can yet aspire to gain the marginally lost grounds.

Two world leaders presiding over two great countries but fully divergent in approach!!

While Modi line of thoughts may be aligned to his actions but not his words, Trump thinks, speaks and acts in the same language. The difference is for you to judge.

 

 

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