Why Modi is as bad as Trump

Published: November 15, 2016

They generate fear regarding the wellbeing of the country, and at the same time, a universal hatred for the ruling elite.

We are living in extremely dangerous times. Many of you would imagine I am referring to the election of Donald Trump, a xenophobic, misogynist, white supremacist, “nasty” man as the US president. I am not.

I am referring to an even more terrifying phenomenon; which is our willing suspension of disbelief in election times. This is the very phenomenon which enables evident liars, of the ranks of Trump and back home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and team, to work up crowds with promises that any sane man would know are hoax, and get elected to office. And still worse, defeat the right policies, the right persons, the right promises and most importantly, the right ideology and value system.

Chunaavi jumla”, a term the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders themselves shamelessly used to describe and own up to some of their false promises post-election, has landed as a nuclear weapon in the hands of Modis and Trumps and have made them seemingly unconquerable.

What else can otherwise describe the election of a man as the US president who wants to grab women by the “female part”, or for that matter, back home, the elevation of a man as a demi-god, who looked the other way while thousands were slaughtered in the state he headed.

We are living in a dog-eat-dog world. We are obsessed with our own financial security at a time where even hospitality comes for a price. And hence, we are desperate for policies and government flagship programmes that would help us become more financially sound.

Trump and Modi have well understood this. But alas they are the wrong men. Hence, what has come out is not kindness or sympathy, but inducement. They have understood that so grave is our desperation for economic progress, that even if they promised us the moon and the stars and the sky convincingly, we would fall for it.

Modi said he would bring back black money within 100 days of assuming office, and distribute Rs15 lakhs to each person in India.

Trump, on the other hand, says he would expel three million immigrants, thus forcing American companies on US soil to employ only Americans as labour.

Anybody would know you cannot destroy industries by stopping them from hiring cheap labour from poor nations. Even legally, you cannot expel immigrants. Anybody would again know that you cannot force a foreign government to reveal names of those who have stashed black money abroad. That procedure would require expansive treaties to be signed.

But here is when the “willing suspension of disbelief” factor takes its toll. These leaders are magicians. They have just become able to suspend people’s common sense. And make them believe what no sane person should fall for.

And there is a way they do this “black magic”. No, no, they do not use witchcraft items such as brooms or nimbu (lemon) tied in red cloth. Their instrument is perverted nationalism.

Have you noticed that before the Trumps and Modis actually put forth their bogus economic promises, they spend months together in a rigorous campaign injecting the notion that the country is falling, the country is being looted, and most importantly, that the ruling class is behind it all.

This way they generate fear regarding the well-being of the country, and at the same time, a universal hatred for the ruling elite.

And then they drop their “chunaavi jumlas” that are all but likely to work with a population so benumbed with fear and hatred. But this is not new. Hitler did just that.

He aroused people’s feelings by talking about their country’s glorious past, and then promised the sun and the sky and the moon. But this simple argument with a proven example will not convince anybody. Because whether it is Trump or Modi, they, as I mentioned, already ensure the mind has been benumbed.

And the results are everything from sad to horrifying to laughable. Sad because you just missed the chance to elect a Madame President after 240 years of independence. Horrifying because you are so conveniently forgetting to condemn bigotry and xenophobia. And laughable that despite given the chance to elect an erudite former secretary of state, you preferred somebody who would perhaps not even know whether Mosul is a city or a person or a food item.

But this sad, horrifying, laughable mind-set, which has emboldened the extreme right-wing like never before, seems impregnable. What else can explain that despite a leading US newspaper publishing two pages full with over 200 or so instances of lies told by or bad behaviour put up by Trump, on the eve of the US election, he still won.

Truth be told, we liberals are just at our wits end on how to deal with this. It is a grave problem calling for great deliberation.

There has to be a thorough campaign to counter this, and arouse people from this mass hypnosis that these thug leaders are trapping them in.

Do you agree or disagree with the opinion that Modi is as bad as Trump?

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This post originally appeared here.

Salman Nizami

Salman Nizami

Salman Nizami remained active in media for more than 10 years and later joined Politics and at present is associated with Indian National Congress. He tweets @SalmanNizami_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • FactCheck

    For Pkaistan Modi is bad.

    For India and ROW, Modi is great.Recommend

  • skpatil

    Hope Mr. Salman Nizami you can read your own article & check how wrong you r,Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Hey Salman Nizami! you r so called liberal? you indian muslims have big job coming in your hands.We have uniform civil code on our agenda just after demonetization is over.We expect you liberals read muslims to come on board to approve this great move of our democratically elected prime minister, sri modi ji.Recommend

  • karunakarnarayan

    if articles like this come in the pakistani press , it means modi is good for indiaRecommend

  • Tommy Gunn

    Modi has done more for India in 2 yrs what Congress could not do in 60 years of power. In a few more years, Modi will wipe out Congress from India.Recommend

  • Mail Me

    A senseless blog by a hopeless pseudo intellectual. Modi is doing well for India and we support him.Recommend

  • deepu

    The other day I ran over a comment from a Pakistani reader that Pakistan is cursed with not to have a leader like Modi! It is true that Modi is bad for India’s enemies including his political rivals back at home however he is such a blessing for general citizens. Modi has a clear vision and agenda that distinguish him with his predecessors.Recommend

  • Pankaj Deshmukh

    Modi is not Hitler. He is democratically elected in Secular country, where minority religion are also living happily comparing to any other Islamic nation.

  • Krishna Kumar

    democracy is the collective will of the people….like it or not ….Trump and Mr Modi are the results of the collective will…..why has this happened…..the primary reason is the Muslim world’s inability to control the radical and violent thought behavior of some elements within their world…..when other collectives of people get frustrated and find their way of life threatened and they are the dominant collective thought of a democracy….. such results are inevitable….at that point the collective thought abhors liberals and their sympathizers….
    Here again i must emphasize that other REASONS ALSO DO INFLUENCE THE COLLECTIVE THOUGHT…. but primary reason was the failure of liberals to catch the pulse of the collective thought….Recommend

  • ask

    Within 5 days of introduction of 2000 rupee notes, which is strictly rationed, PM’s home Gujarat became the first State where couple of government officers were caught taking bribe of 3 Lakhs in very same crisp new notes! How did the bribe giver lay his hands on such large amount in such a short time & how much more cash must be with him?

    In two years black economy already destroyed? The piper plays his merry tune and the naive are dancing.Recommend

  • ask

    Hitler was democratically elected by popular vote.
    However, comparison of Modi with him is not appropriate.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Looks like the hindus commenters are percolating in their hatred,
    Proves the fact that 1400 years of Muslim and British subjugation
    just produced a stunted hindu nation…..two billion of them.Recommend

  • ask

    I didn’t realise that you were comparing Kejriwal and Modi. May be you think both are on same footing since both are accepted by people as CM/PM just as was Hitler the Chancellor. Are they jokers? May be not; but their respective followers sure are a joke Recommend

  • Sane

    It looks Indians are so impressed with Pakistani news and media that they are mostly on these pages.Recommend

  • Sane

    How? Mr. Brainy, would you explain?Recommend

  • Avinash

    well indians r there to see what the perspective is from the other sideRecommend

  • FactCheck

    Which region? For Pakistan?

    Not for India, growing at 7% GDP, Bangladesh, doing better than Pakistan. For Afghanistan, making investments and helping Afghanistan build its army and the police force.

    Sri Lanka? Nope, funding many projects. Nepal, nope again. Funding and building hydro electric plants and irrigation systems.

    All in all, only Pakistan is affected by Modi. Hope he becomes a nightmare to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Sane

    Fanatic Modi has made life of Indians miserable. The Chaiwala mentality is the mentality of PM. People are starving queuing to get their own cash from bank. This is today’s Indian life.Recommend

  • Sane

    A common man’s life in Pakistan is much much better than Indian common man’s life. Thanks to ALLAH almighty.Recommend

  • jesica wilde

    nice blogRecommend