Trump Sarkar it is: How India reacted to the US results

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 10, 2016 15:31 hrs
Donald Trump

It was amidst protests and chants of “Not my President”, that Donald J Trump gave his victory speech after he was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Flanked by his family and the Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said that he hoped to be President of all Americans and reached out for guidance and support from those who disagreed with him. In a speech quite uncharacteristic of him, Trump was sombre and measured, reaching out to the international community he said –

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.

Even though Hillary Clinton, the first women to run for President of a major party, won 47.7% of the popular vote as against Trump’s 47.5%, it is the electoral college tally which determines which candidate wins. Many called it one of the most divisive and negative campaigns in the history of American politics. Trump came to be known for his brash and abusive remarks about his opponents but also for building his campaign by alienating the hispanic community by calling them criminals and rapists and promising to build a wall on the U.S Mexican border. From videos of sexually abusive remarks to email leaks, both candidates campaign were mired in controversies. And it was finally, an overwhelming majority of white people who voted for Trump.

This New York Times editorial sets the tone for shock that many are feeling as prospects of a Trump presidency. Calling him one of the most unprepared and temperamentally unfit candidates to ever run for office, the editorial has as ominous warning –

He has said he intends to cut taxes for the wealthy and to withdraw the health care protection of the Affordable Care Act from tens of millions of Americans. He has insulted women and threatened Muslims and immigrants, and he has recruited as his allies a dark combination of racists, white supremacists and anti-Semites. Given the importance of the alt-right to Mr. Trump’s rise, it is perhaps time to drop the “alt.” David Duke celebrated Mr. Trump’s victory on Tuesday night, tweeting, “It’s time to TAKE AMERICA BACK!!!”

As the international community slowly tries to make sense of what a Trump presidency is going to mean, congratulatory messages have been pouring in, including from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump reached out directly to the Indian-hindu community, by addressing the Republican Hindu Coalition a month earlier and also came out with this advertisement, borrowing the famous election slogan.

There have been mixed feelings about how the new administration will affect India. This was reflected at the breakfast hosted by the U.S Embassy for civil society members, diplomats and media persons in New Delhi to watch the election results. The Hindu reported that Richard Verma, U.S Ambassador to India, is known to be close to Hillary Clinton, and it was expected that the event could turn into a Clinton victory celebration, which it did not.

The mood of the event reflected the divide in the diplomatic community over the possible policy options before the U.S. under Donald Trump presidency. The divide over policies in the West was summed up by Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum who told The Hindu on Tuesday that the policy of building walls will not be favoured by Canada which will use immigration for its future development.

This Hindustan Times article elaborates the cautious optimism and the nervousness of the Indian establishment. Trump does believe that U.S has been unnecessarily “over overcommitted around the world and is unfairly treated by trade agreements” and in translating this to foreign policy, India may be adversely affected.

New Delhi, having already seen how Barack Obama’s isolationist bouts led to the Taliban’s return in Afghanistan and encouraged China to push its territorial claims in the western Pacific, worries Trump will inadvertently encourage Beijing to push the geopolitical envelope even more.

Satyam Sharma writes in The Economic Times that there are possible positive and negatives. If Trump re-negotiates trade deals and does away with the H1-B Visa program, India has a lot to lose.

He is often seen exhibiting a double standard towards India — on the one hand he has said India is doing great and on the other he said he would bring American jobs back from India. Bringing jobs back to America could mean harsher conditions for entry of immigrants from India.

In foreign policy though, there may be more of a common ground. As Sharma point out Trump has been critical of China and has labelled Pakistan as “semi stable and a safe haven for terrorists.”

Sunil Rajguru writes in Sify that Trump and Modi are sure to get along on a personal level, as both have much in common.

They are both self-made men who came succeeded against all odds and nobody gave them a chance to be where they are right now. They are both equally hated by the ecosystem of the MILL—Media Intellectuals Liberals Leftists. So in one way you could call them natural allies and you are sure that they will get along at a personal level.

Rather satirically, Suhel Seth writes in The Times of India that a Trump presidency will be entertaining to say the least. He calls Trump’s victory, a victory of misogyny and that the new White House will be a Reality White House outdoing even Big Boss.

For starters, every real estate bloke will hope to get into Mantralaya. Contractors and masons will be the new blue-eyed boys of the Establishment. Sant Chatwal will formally retire. From scams and so on. Narendra Modi will finally be able to call someone Donald without going to McDonald's, given the impending ban by the RSS on chicken.

The eyes of the world will be on Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul with no policy experience, in the coming months to see who will be picked for key positions within the administration. But within the U.S, perhaps the fact that ‘how to emigrate to Canada’ and ‘end of the world’ was most searched on Google, best reflects the mood of the people.

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