If it was love between Modi and Obama, wait till he sees Trump

The prime minister would bond better with Republican presidential hopeful rather than 'good friend' Barack.

 |  5-minute read |   10-06-2016
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It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inner pracharak is breaking out every now and then. No matter how hard he tries suppressing these primordial instincts, they resurface, like a bad habit, whether in Indian or foreign soil. His much-touted five-nation tour and his jet-setting ways might have had the media eating out of his hands, but it was full of occasions when the warts were back, for everyone to see.

Never mind Konar faux pas

The Konark fashion faux pax of skirts and handbags, and history date blooper may be a godawful embarrassment for a leader of the modern world, but not for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After all, he is a devout Hindutva follower, ever since he joined the RSS at the tender age of eight, and became a "balswayamsevak".  

The RSS believes in the great Hindu Golden Age which began with the Vedic Age, that dates back to more than 4,000 years ago, before the birth of any other civilisation; and so,  India not only had fashion technology, but spaceships, genetic science, medical transplants and such like.

Now can you blame Modi when he talks about Ganesha and plastic surgery, Rama in Ramayana flew in a plane, that too in full public glare? Why mock only Hindutva history rewriter Dinanath Batra and the rest of the crew, when Modi is a devout believer too?

Constitution, 'holy book' or 'ghulami' manual?

Was Modi having an out of body experience when he addressed the US Congress and enchanted them with pearls such as: For my government, the Constitution is its real holy book?

Obviously not. Or why would his government-appointed RSS ideologue and IGNCA head, Ram Bahadur Rai, spew in an interview that "the Constitution they (founding fathers) came up with became, broadly, a new testament of our gulaami (slavery)."

Rai had earlier said that the present Lok Sabha should be converted into a Constituent Assembly to draw up a new Constitution that "converts the Directive Principles of state policy into basic rights".

And what are the Directive Principles? It's a moral chart for the country, which Rai dismisses as "some sant's updesh today", but they include the uniform civil code, Hindu sentiment of cow protection, gram swaraj and such like; all that excites the Hindutva heart.

modi-capitol-hill-sa_061016043511.jpg Narendra Modi gestures after his address to the joint session of US Congress in Capitol Hill. 

Cow, to get away with murder

So, it was an unperturbed Modi who continued his speech in the US Congress, even as enthralled Congressmen applauded, that "In that holy book (the Constitution), freedom of faith, speech and franchise, and equality of all citizens, regardless of background, are enshrined as fundamental rights… all the 1.25 billion of our citizens have freedom from fear, a freedom they exercise every moment of their lives".  

All this in the backdrop of his party colleagues in Dadri holding panchayats and screaming for the arrest of the late Mohammed Akhlaq's  family for keeping cow beef. Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, Modi's Cabinet colleague, who was booked for the Muzaffarnagar riots but was elevated, has even said it's time to track down families who must have eaten the rest of the cow!  

Akhlaq was lynched by a mob for reportedly keeping cow beef, and the latest forensic report which says it is "cow or its progeny" is mischievous reported as the sample beef picked up was not from Akhlaq's house, but from a tri-junction nearby. The game plan is easy to see: coincide the mahapanchayat on Akhlaq with Eid celebrations, create a communal divide, and bingo, you have your votes.

And what about the Modi government's battles with say, students, who are not just been rusticated from universities, but hounded, arrested, scholarships taken away, because raising slogans is "anti-national" and they subscribe to an ideology opposed to Hindutva? 

Muslim-free [insert place of choice]

And, just like Trump's attack against Muslims, Mexican immigrants and women, the BJP and its extended Sangh Parivar have been on a spree spitting at Muslims. Modi's parliamentary and party colleagues have asked for a "Muslim-free India", and asked them to get out of the country; or asking women to stay home and be the ideal Hindutva wife.

Even the party's Assam Vision Document 2016-2025 which promised "complete sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border in the state" to stop Bangladeshi immigrants, that too launched by the party's supposedly suave face, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Is Modi squirming at all of this? No prizes for guessing the right answer.

trump-modi-embed-tru_061016043655.jpg Will Modi share a better rapport with Donald Trump?

Modi, Trump Bhai Bhai

So, if Trump turns economic anxiety into bigoted fear and creates an "us-and-them", Modi too has used it liberally in his election campaign, in the run-up to his victory as PM, or even in Bihar months ago, when he tried to terrorise the OBCs by saying Nitish Kumar was giving away part of reservations to Muslims.

If Trump's utterances against Latinos and Muslims have provoked violence - a Milwaukee man even murdered his neighbours for not speaking English - Modi's silence is deafening in the face of Hindutva assault on Muslims, beef-eating Hindus, and the like.

But even as Trump calls for a ban on Muslims into America, reports pour in how Trump Inc has invested in the Middle East and has been bailed out by Saudi royalty. Similarly, as Modi hugs Muslim leaders from Saudi Arabia to Iran and signs billion-dollar deals and agreements for bilateral cooperation, his followers lynch and bay for Indian Muslims, calling them outsiders.

India-US relations are headed for a new high if Trump indeed becomes the President of the United States of America, creating a thrilling link between the Shakha and the Shake Shack.


Vrinda Gopinath Vrinda Gopinath @vrinda_gopinath

The writer is editor, altgaze.com.

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