Is Modi-Trump Comparison Right?

Is Modi ‘incomparable’?
THE LAST POST in this blog, on the need for bipartisan politics, came into the spotlight with quotes from the eulogies to the late Arizona Senator John McCain and the emotional, angry, thought-provoking speech by his daughter, Meghan McCain.

It also evoked some interesting reactions. While many agreed, in emails or personal conversations, with the need for bipartisan politics in India some were uncomfortable with that conclusion. It made one thing obvious: Some agree with and admire Prime Ministerr Narendra Modi for his expressed views and stand, as I do; some others’ support for him is purely dogmatic, as they belong to his school of thought, just as the opposition to him by some is just because he belongs to another religion.

“I am not a Hindu, so I must oppose whatever he says and find fault with it,” they think just as the supporters think, “He stands for Hindutva, just as I do, so I must support him.”
It is for you to decide which of the two categories the following e-mail an ex-student sent (which explains the ‘sir’) belongs to


This was a wonderful piece. As usual, bringing out a nuanced argument about the issue at hand.

I agree with the fact pointed out by McCain’s daughter … America was great always and need not be made
great again (as Trump wants to) but was immediately drawn to the potential to compare with India — Modi and his ilk trying to do it … India is great already … no need to do what is being unnecessarily pushed in the
name of development.

But reading this para … “The Arizona senator planned to make his death an extraordinary political moment that has elevated a national debate on the values on which the United States was founded. McCain’s funeral marked the largest gathering of the bipartisan political establishment… I could not help but wonder … why did you not throw in a comparison here with Vajpayee’s death and the funeral spectacle that was made?

The only difference is … McCain planned it and Vajpayee was in no position to do it. But had he been, he would not have done it.

Do you agree with the conclusion that Vajpayee, during whose regime relations with an

An intolerant ‘Hindu’ ?

inimical Pakistan were the most friendly in 71 years of independent India and who did not hesitate to praise Indira Gandhi as goddess Durga when she took courageous action against an event that brought into India an influx of refugees never before experienced by any Western country, would not have advocated bipartisan politics – if he was not reduced to a vegetable existence in his last days

perhaps due to Parkinson’s and/or dementia?

Would Vajpayee have decided to ignore the dynastic parties crying hoarse about ‘intolerance to Muslims’ just to create their vote banks without realising that educated, enlightened Muslims would see through the game?

Would Vajpayee have not called for a bipartisan stand when the so-called liberals shed tears for the Myanmar minority of Rohingya Muslims while they said nothing about the influx India faced during the Bangladesh war?

Would Vajpayee have not questioned the ‘liberals’ backing Kashmiri militants who threw out thousands of Pandits from their own land and are now demanding human rights and ‘independence’ for a land they forcibly occupied as invaders?
Had Hindus been not tolerant of other religions, would many countries where they left imprints of their culture and religion not have become Hindu countries when India itself, being partitioned on the basis of religion, chose to be secular?

Successful ‘outsider

The reason some supporters of the coalition ruling India feel embarrassed is that Modi too is considered a maverick rightist like with Donald Trump who, like Modi, is also an “outsider” (not in the ruling dynasty or a professional politician seeking power for self-aggrandizement) who got elected unexpectedly. Any comparison with Trump would lead to Modi’s ‘Hindutva’ stand being compared to Trump’s reliance on “redneck Bible-belt white supremacist’ support to come to power. Both are taking some not-very-popular strong decisions.

And it is grudged both are bringing to their countries economic prosperity and success.

Published by

B. Someswar Rao

60 years of journalism, from the age of 16, and two books later, life has so much more to offer, there is no looking back. Not yet. Unstoppable after 70 is a simple expression of my thoughts, my triumphs, my failures and everything that makes this journey incredible. My books: - A TOWN CALLED PENURY- the changing culture of Indian journalism - JOURNALISM - Ethics, Codes, Laws Working on: - 'THE OUTHOUSE ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Coming of (Old)Age in India'

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