In a recent interview with American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was asked about his opinion on US Presidential race nominee Donald Trump who has called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Modi ‘s response was –
“I am the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy. My views on the internal politics of any country and that too at the peak of their election cycle won’t be in fitness of honoring democratic values. I should maintain my discipline.
After a new government is formed, if they bring any new thoughts, whoever wins, we will surely respond as a government.”
This mature and measured response is something that PM Modi’s political opponents, both domestic and international, would do well to learn from.
In November 2012, sixty-four members of Bharat’s Parliament, 25 from the Lok Sabha and 39 from the Rajya Sabha, petitioned U.S. President Barack Obama to advise the State Department to hold firm to its 2005 decision to deny then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi an entry visa. The petitioners in the letter hailed from a diverse range of Indian states, including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, and Andhra Pradesh. Among them were several members of the Congress Party, the DMK, and Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party (CPM). These MPs (many of them Muslims and/or communists, who are otherwise virulently opposed to US foreign policy) did not think twice before taking their political battle against Modi to a foreign country. They were pleading US to interfere in the internal matters of Bharat, against a democratically elected CM.
The Economist magazine and various other Western media outlets were busy demonizing Narendra Modi as a ‘radical & divisive’ Hindu nationalist leader, at the peak of the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. An article in The Economist, which appeared in April 2014 just before the start of polling for LS 2014, described Narendra Modi as a divisive man and “recommended” to Bharatiyas a Rahul Gandhi-led government as an uninspiring but “less disturbing” option.
One wonders how Rahul Gandhi would have responded to a question on Trump, if he were PM today – Salman Khurshid, ex-Foreign Minister in UPA-2 recently said that “India would be very, very worried if Donald Trump wins.” There can be no doubt that Rahul Gandhi, despite the best attempts of his handlers, would have been an unmitigated disaster for Bharat on the international stage. And that is what The Economist wanted when they recommended Rahul Gandhi as PM of Bharat – a perpetually incoherent, week-kneed and self-effacing Bharat that is taken lightly by world powers. It is good that the people of Bharat rejected the unsolicited advice.