Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Do Trump & Modi Have Much in Common?

Why is the Hindu Right excited about the Trump candidacy? Why are they openly supporting Trump for President? What do Trump and Hindu Nationalists have in common? Let's explore answers to these questions.

Photo Credit The Guardian


Hindu Nationalists Support Trump:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu supporters have organized "puja" (worship) to pray for the Trump victory in the heart of Indian capital, according to The Guardian newspaper. “He’s our hero,” said a Hindu supporter of Trump. “We are praying for Trump because he is the only one who can help mankind.” “He’s the only many who can put an end to Islamic terrorism", the supporter added.

Some of Trump's Hindu supporters have rallied outside the US embassy in New Delhi to urge their fellow Hindu citizens of the United States to vote for Donald Trump for president.

Indian-American Support for Trump:

Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar, a close Modi ally and the BJP’s advisor on U.S. politics, has emerged as a big backer of Trump’s candidacy. Kumar is actively raising campaign funds within the Indian American Hindu community for Trump. Kumar has so far raised $898,000 from Hindu donors for the Trump campaign.

“That’s just a start. That’s the seed money,” Kumar told The Hill in an interview at Cleveland’s tony Renaissance Hotel during the first day of the Republican National Convention in July this year.

Kumar has pledged to personally spend $2 million of his own money on Republican candidates this cycle, according to The Hill.

The Hill reported that "Shalli Kumar was especially won over by Trump’s tough words for Pakistan, India’s neighbor and nemesis; and the businessman praised Trump’s views on Muslim profiling".

Modi and Trump:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has built his entire political career on the intense hatred of  Muslims. Republican presidential candidate has built his entire campaign on Islamophobia and xenophobia. That's what the two men have in common.

Just as white racists form the core of Trump's support base in America, the Modi phenomenon in India has been fueled by Hindu Nationalists whose leaders have praised Adolph Hitler for his hatred of Jews.

M.S. Golwalkar, a Hindu Nationalist who Mr. Modi has described as "worthy of worship" wrote the following about Muslims in his book "We":

 "Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”

"To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Trump's Hindu Nationalist Ties:

Trump has close business ties with Mangal Prabhat Lodha,  a real estate mogul and a BJP state legislator. Trump organization is building a 75-story Trump Tower in Mumbai that is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Trump signed the licensing deal for it in 2014, according to The Intercept.

Lodha is known for his support for anti-Muslim and anti-Christian causes. Lodha has over the past two decades repeatedly pushed for anti-conversion legislation, called the Maharashtra Freedom of Religion Act, that would criminalize the work of Christian and Muslim missionaries.

Lodha rose to political power in Mumbai in 1994 as Hindu activists protested over claims that Christian missionaries were entering slums and converting low-caste Hindus. In one incident, BJP activists attacked Christian converts over a dispute in Dharavi, a Mumbai slum. In another local incident, Hindus attacked a Catholic convent after accusing the school of converting a Hindu student to Christianity. Skirmishes between Christians and Muslims led to BJP activists taking to the streets to demand anti-conversion laws, according to The Intercept.

Summary:

Modi and Trump have much in common. Both share their hatred of Muslims and they have used it gain political support in their respective countries. Both have racist xenophobic supporters. Modi-loving Hindu Nationalists are actively supporting Trump's candidacy in the upcoming US elections.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Trump Phenomenon

Hindu Nationalists Love Nazis

Globalization of Hindu Nationalism

Norway's Breivik's Hindutva Rhetoric

Does Trump Know India Sends More Illegals to US Than Mexico?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/clinton-holds-41-point-lead-over-trump-among-asian-american-n659416

Trump has very supporters in Indian Americans.

Riaz Haq said...

#US and #Indian Police bust #India's call centers posing as #IRS scam #American taxpayers of millions of dollars

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/fake-call-centers-in-india-scam-americans-of-millions/ar-BBx4xsM?li=BBnb7Kz


The Indian police have managed to uncover a huge tax scam where a large number of Americans were duped of millions of dollars by people posing as tax authorities and asking for the payment of unpaid taxes. Seventy people have been arrested as of Thursday, and hundreds questioned in relation with the fraud, a Mumbai police officer said.

The scam ran for almost a year, the Indian police told the Associated Press (AP). Fake call centers were used to voice mail messages to U.S. nationals, telling them to call back regarding the back taxes they owed. When any of these people did call back, the scammers would manage to take out thousands of dollars from them to “settle” the tax cases.

“They would make threatening calls to honest taxpayers in the U.S., ask them to deposit money through pre-paid cards,” Param Bir Singh, the police chief of Thane, a Mumbai suburb, told Indian news network NDTV.

According to Mumbai police officer Parag Marere, the elaborate plan brought in more than $150,000 a day — possibly amounting to almost $55 million in the one year the scam ran.

“We are questioning those who were involved in the fraud, including those posing as tax investigators,” Marere said, according to the AP.

Of the 600 or more people being questioned, many are expected to face charges for running the fake call centers, the police said. They include alleged leaders of the scam, as well as those associated with other tasks within the fraudulent enterprise that ran out of several stories in a Mumbai office building.

The criminal charges filed against those involved include extortion, impersonation and violations of the country’s information technology laws, the AP reported.

Indian media reported that the scam involved collaborators based out of the United States as well. At least one company in the U.S. reportedly supplied the Mumbai call centers with personal information of those targeted by the scam. Almost 70 percent of the money made stayed in India, while the remaining was shared with those based outside the country.

In police raids this week, hundreds of hard disks, high-end servers and other electronic equipment were seized from the offices of the fake call centers.

Jairam said...

@Anony: So your link shows that Indians support the least for Trump. So what is the point Riaz is trying to make.

Riaz Haq said...

Jairam: "So what is the point Riaz is trying to make. "


70% of Indian-Americans are leaning against Trump, about the same percentage of Indians who voted against Modi in India in the last elections.

Read: BJP's 31% lowest vote share of any party to win majority

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/BJPs-31-lowest-vote-share-of-any-party-to-win-majority/articleshow/35315930.cms

It's possible in India's parliamentary system to win majority of seats in Indian parliament and pick Indian PM.

It's not possible in the US or a candidate to get such a low percentage as Modi did to be elected president.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi hiding behind the blood of jawans, doing 'dalali' of their sacrifice: Rahul Gandhi. #India http://toi.in/mywPGa via @timesofindia

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of playing politics over the "blood of jawans" who sacrificied their lives in Kashmir.
Targeting the Prime Minister over the surgical strikes, Rahul said " Jo hamare jawan hain jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu and Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strike kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe ho. Yeh bilkul galat hai . {You (Modi) are hiding behind the blood of soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strikes for India. You are exploiting their sacrifices, which is very wrong}
The Congress leader accused PM Modi of dividing the nation and trying to encash the sacrifice of the jawans.


Jairam said...

That is the first-past-the-post system, whether you like it or not.

check this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_2005

Now pls don't tell me that Tony Blair's 35.2% was MUCH MORE than Modi's 31% percentage :-)

In US it is possible for the elected president to get less % of popular votes, as it happened with
Bush vs Gore. So it is not as if US system is perfect.

In any case I hope Trump does not win. But many feel that the voters are so angry with status-quo that they will vote him on Nov 8. Did you see Fareed Zakaria's interview of Nigal Farage. NF is betting Trump will win.

Yuck. I dislike both candidates. Is this the best US could offer.

Riaz Haq said...

Jairam: "Now pls don't tell me that Tony Blair's 35.2% was MUCH MORE than Modi's 31% percentage :-)"

Indian system is a copy of the British system. It has inherited all of its flaws.


Jairam: " In US it is possible for the elected president to get less % of popular votes, as it happened with
Bush vs Gore. So it is not as if US system is perfect."

Yes, but not as low as 30%. Most US presidential elections are close with each major party candidate getting close to half of the votes. It's a much more authentic mandate than in India or UK or for that matter Pakistan.

Jairam said...

No sir , USA looks better because it is essentially a 2 party system. If in USA other presidential candidates also get sizaBle vote, then the elected president can end up getting like what modi got.

Riaz Haq said...

Jairam: " If in USA other presidential candidates also get sizaBle vote, then the elected president can end up getting like what modi got. "


US election is state-by-state on the basis of "winner takes all" electoral votes in each state.

The winner must get a minimum of 270 of the 538 electoral votes.

A 3rd party candidate can win only if he/she manages to get sizable votes across 50 states...an impossible task under the current system.


Another model is in Europe. Countries like France have run-off elections between the top two vote-getters if none gets over 50% in the first round.

Right-wing parties like Modi's (like Marine Le Pen's National Front in France) have won lots of votes in first round but lost in 2nd round run-offs.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi unable to defend role in #Gujarat massacre, abruptly cuts off interview with Karan Thapar IBN-CNN https://youtu.be/tAGAYL8dtic via @YouTube

Anonymous said...

UK system is superior to US system as it is near immune to gridlock resulting from different parties controlling the legislature and executive.

Jairam said...

@anonymous: Not only that, the only reason why elected presidents in US get around 50% of popular votes is because in US there are only two parties.

Anonymous said...

@Jairam Which also means cartelization of power aka duopoly.

In any case political systems grow organically and the Republic of India is a continuation of the British Empire in Asia as a political entity.The institution s are 250 years old and have stabilized democracy in sharp contrast with our immediate neighborhood we abandon this framework at our peril though 10_20 years later when we are a second world country like Brazil we should introduce proportional representation on the Australian model i.e single transferable vote.This is already the case for Rajya Sabha elections so should be conceptually easy to implement.Will require replacement of the EVMs though.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Which also means cartelization of power aka duopoly."

Power in India at the center is now a duopoly of BJP and Congress. Before that, it was a Congress monopoly for decades after independence.

Anonymous said...

"Power in India at the center is now a duopoly of BJP and Congress. Before that, it was a Congress monopoly for decades after independence."

Things are changing now. Cong has shrunk alarmingly. If cong by itself can not get more than 50 seats, there is no way it will be the dominant party in UPA.

Lesson for Cong is that, if for 60 yrs you try to appease minorities at the expense of majority, you end up being thrown out. And minorities still remain poor and backward.
A lose-lose situation.

Anonymous said...

In India a party at the centre having absolute majority like the current government is rare.Infact this is the first time since 1984.Congress is getting wiped out only 44 seats at the centre and not even the second largest party in all subsequent state election s.The opposition space is being filled with new parties like AAP which is a much more dynamic model.BJP itself had just 2 seats in 1984.

Then of course there is the upper house whose assent is required for important legislation like the GST.So I would hardly describe this as a duopoly at the centre.

In the UK in the 19th century the two main parties were conservative and liberals.Now it is conservative and labor.

This is completely different from 200 + year duopoly with the government not being formed automatically by the party that controls the legislature thus very prone to gridlock as in the US model.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump recorded having extremely lewd, degrading conversation about women in 2005.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html


Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera.

The tape includes audio of Bush and Trump talking inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.

In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and f--- her. She was married,” Trump says.

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as s---, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

Riaz Haq said...

All Six of #America's science #NobelPrize winners this year are immigrants. #immigration #Trump http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nobel-prize-immigrants_us_57fbdf51e4b068ecb5e0cd4e?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004 … via @TheWorldPost

Donald Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time this election claiming the only people that immigrate to the United States are the ones “that have lots of problems.”

If only he were talking about brilliant scientists, toiling away at some of the world’s most intractable issues, he might actually have a point. This year, every American who won a Nobel prize in a scientific field was an immigrant.

Riaz Haq said...

The Strange History of How Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' Became a Bestseller in India

https://mic.com/articles/120411/how-hitler-s-mein-kampf-became-a-bestseller-in-india#.h80BQsrcO


Like almost anywhere else in the world, Indian bookstores tend to place national bestsellers at the entrance, enticing readers as they walk in. Foreigners might be surprised to discover the book very often featured among that coveted selection is none other than Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. One of the biggest publishing companies in India distributing the book has seen sales of it steadily increasing annually.

More than a dozen editions of Mein Kampf have circulated through India, translated into various languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali. The English edition distributed by publishing house Jaico sold more than a hundred thousand copies between 2003 and 2010.

"The initial print run of 2,000 copies in 2003 sold out immediately and we knew we had a best-seller on our hands. Since then the numbers have increased every year to around 15,000 copies until last year when we sold 10,000 copies over a six-month period in our Delhi shops," R. H. Sharma, Jaico's chief editor, told the Telegraph in 2009, at which point his publishing company was reprinting the book twice annually to keep up with demand.

The ebook version has been topping the charts, surpassing hardcopy sales and becoming a bestseller online in 2014. Right now, for a mere 76 cents USD, you can purchase the Kindle version of Mein Kampf, which sits at Amazon India's 11th bestselling book.

While a lack of official numbers and piracy issues mean these figures are likely an underrepresentation of the manifesto's prevalence, suffice to say that the book and its author's popularity have been on a steady rise in the world's second biggest country.

The fanfare in India extends beyond the written word. In 2011, capitalizing on the figure's popularity, the Indian film industry produced a film entitled Dear Friend Hitler, also known as Gandhi to Hitler. The IMDb synopsis reads, "Adolf Hitler assists India in its freedom struggle against the British, while Mohandas Gandhi writes to him to end violence." The reviews were not good, but the film exists nonetheless.

Riaz Haq said...

#Muslim family of award-winning data scientist flees US for #Pakistan after youngest son, 7, bullied http://dailym.ai/2dStTjL via @MailOnline

The Muslim family of an award-winning computer data scientist decided to leave the United States after the latest incident of Islamophobia involved the youngest child being repeatedly bullied.
Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, a two-time Fulbright Scholar who uses data to prevent terror attacks, moved his family across the world to Pakistan over the weekend after sharing a heartbreaking post on Facebook featuring his 7-year-old son with a sling on his arm after he was attacked by bullies in Cary, North Carolina.
'Welcome to the United States of America of Donald Trump,' he wrote as a caption for the October 8 post on the social media site.
'Meet my son Abdul Aziz. He is in grade 1, bullied and beaten by his own classmates in school bus for being a Muslim'.
Usmani's wife, Binish Bhagwanee, told him that their son walked off the school bus traumatized, bruised and battered after a classmate allegedly tried to force him to eat food that wasn't halal.
When the first grader refused, he claims that five students ganged up on him and made fun of his name while punching him in the face and kicking him in the stomach.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3835138/Muslim-family-award-winning-data-scientist-flees-North-Carolina-Pakistan-youngest-son-7-brutalized-bullies-religion.html#ixzz4MuqfDk00
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Riaz Haq said...

Among Donald #Trump’s Biggest #US Fans: #Hindu Nationalists. #Modi #BJP #India

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/us/politics/indian-americans-trump.html?_r=0

As one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu financial backers, Mr. Kumar, who runs an electronics manufacturing company in Illinois and grew up in the state of Punjab along the Pakistani border, has helped organize a speech by the Republican nominee in Edison, N.J., at a Bollywood-themed charity concert on Saturday. The proceeds will benefit terrorism victims.

“It will be an incredible evening,” Mr. Trump said in a video promoting it, one of the few ethnic events he has agreed to do during this campaign.

Mr. Trump may be largely indifferent to the reasons behind his Hindu loyalists’ fervor, but his most senior advisers are not. The campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, is a student of nationalist movements. Mr. Bannon is close to Nigel Farage, a central figure in Britain’s movement to leave the European Union, and he is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist Mr. Bannon has called “the Reagan of India.”

It may be pure coincidence that some of Mr. Trump’s words channel the nationalistic and, some argue, anti-Muslim sentiments that Mr. Modi stoked as he rose to power. But it is certainly not coincidental that many of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Mr. Modi’s most ardent backers.

At times, the similarity of Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Modi’s political vocabulary is striking. Mr. Modi fed the perception that India’s feckless leaders had failed to allow the country to reach its full potential. And he campaigned as the only one capable of fixing that.

“I will make such a wonderful India that all Americans will stand in line to get a visa for India,” he said once. A centerpiece of his agenda is the “Make in India” program, which is aimed at stimulating economic growth by encouraging more manufacturing in the country.

“It’s all about India first, or ‘Make India Great,’ ” said Sujeeth Draksharam, a civil engineer from Houston who supports Mr. Trump and planned to attend Saturday’s event. “Look at Donald Trump. It’s the same thing. ‘Make America Great Again’ — strong again.”

Another similarly powerful sentiment that both leaders have harnessed is grievance. Mr. Trump has seized on how the working class feels out of place and left behind in a country that is changing demographically and economically.

Even if Mr. Modi’s appeals were never as crass as Mr. Trump’s, his followers say he always understood that many Hindus felt their concerns were ignored by India’s secular and, in their minds, deeply corrupt government, which Mr. Modi vowed to clean up.

“One of the things that Modi very subtly articulated, but was very clear about, was something which nobody wanted to say,” said Subramanian Swamy, a longtime Indian politician and Hindu nationalist who is often a thorn in the side of the country’s political elite. “And that is that Hindus, despite being 80 percent of the population, feel like they got a raw deal.”

Riaz Haq said...

12 Most Incredibly Absurd Things Happened At The “#Hindus For #Trump”. #Modi #Bollywood https://www.buzzfeed.com/sahilrizwan/big-fan-of-hindu?utm_term=.fizjWNzd6 … via @sahilriz @BuzzFeedIndia

Last night, the Republican Hindu Coalition in New Jersey held a charity event titled “Humanity United Against Terror”, with Donald Trump as the chief guest.

The benefit was held for victims of terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere in the subcontinent.
The event featured performances from celebrities across the Indian film industry, including Prabhu Deva, Shriya Saran, and Malaika Arora Khan.

1. However, it was everything other than the performances that anyone could talk about – like fliers portraying Sonia Gandhi and Hillary Clinton as evil beings out to frame Narendra Modi.

The fliers were handed out to all attendees, and accused Clinton of colluding with Gandhi to organise a “witch hunt” against Modi.
2. It also featured the bones of dead cattle.

3. Posters of Trump photoshopped on a lotus, the BJP’s official party symbol, adorned the arena.

4. Banners around the venue tried to woo the NRI crowd with promises that Trump would facilitate a faster green card process.


This, despite one of the Trump campaign’s main focuses being a push for tighter immigration laws.
5. It wasn’t all hunky-dory though, with anti-Trump groups protesting outside the venue even as the event began.

6. The highlight of the night was a performance involving Indian dancers being attacked by terrorists with lightsaber-y guns, and being saved by the U.S. army.

No, seriously. Terrorists with lightsabers.

7. Once rescued, the Indian dancers took the U.S. pledge of allegiance, followed by a performance to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.”

8. The man of the hour, Donald Trump, eventually walked out on stage and followed the Hindu ritual of lighting a ceremonial diya.

9. Trump began by proclaiming that he was “a big fan of Hindu”.

His odd phrasing didn’t go unnoticed.

10. However, his biggest faux pas occurred when he mixed up two separate terror attacks, and implied that the Indian parliament was in Mumbai.


“For all of the people in Mumbai, the attack on the parliament was outrageous and terrible. We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” he misspoke.
11. Trump also talked about PM Modi, and was full of praise for him.

2. He capped off the night by asserting that India and America would be “best friends” under his administration.

Indians following the event on Twitter had more than a few thoughts about the whole thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZYpK2bGMpY

Riaz Haq said...

Stats Show #whitesupremacy is a Bigger Threat to #America Than Radical #Muslims. #Trump #terrorism https://www.yahoo.com/news/statistics-show-white-supremacy-bigger-004327404.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw … via @YahooNews

Despite what Donald Trump and many other politicians have told you, the major threat to America isn’t Muslim extremism. In fact, statistics show that the real danger lies with domestic extremists who aren’t of the Muslim faith.

The New York Times reported back in June that since Sept. 11, 2001, almost twice as many people have died at the hands of white supremacists and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims. Using data compiled by New America, a Washington Research center, a study found that 48 people have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim—including the mass killings in Charleston, S.C.—compared to the 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists. However, this does not factor in yesterday’s tragic shooting or less publicized incidents like the Las Vegas couple who murdered two police officers and left a Swastika on one of the bodies.

These stats reveal a vast difference between public perception and the number of actual cases in which Muslim extremists have claimed American lives. So why aren’t more people outraged about domestic terrorists? Because then we’d have to admit that white supremacy is still a problem.

While the public hasn't quite caught on yet, scholars say that the issue needs to be addressed. “There’s an acceptance now of the idea that the threat from jihadi terrorism in the United States has been overblown,” Dr. John G. Horgan, who studies terrorism at the University of Massachusetts said. “And there’s a belief that the threat of right-wing, antigovernment violence has been underestimated.”

That’s an understatement.

Riaz Haq said...

Pro #Trump #Hindu group is attacking #HillaryClinton aide Huma Abedin for her '#Pakistan origin' http://read.bi/2eeHf6Y via @bi_politics

An ad released on Monday from a pro-Trump group attacked Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin for her Pakistani heritage.

In the ad, produced by the Republican Hindu Coalition, a narrator leveled attacks at Clinton before taking aim at Abedin.

"Her current aide Huma Abedin is of Pakistani origin and will become chief of staff if she wins," the narrator said.

Abedin's mother is Pakistani, born in a part of the former British India that is now Pakistan. There has been no word beyond speculation that Abedin would be chief of staff in a Clinton administration.

According to the New York Post, the ad will air on more than a dozen TV stations in the US, including several catered to Indian viewers.

The TV spot was the second pro-Trump advertisement targeting Indian-Americans. The first, also created by Republican Hindu Coalition founder Shalabh Kumar, showed Trump speaking Hindi and expressing solidarity with India.

The group was also sending 60,000 advertisements by mail to voters in three key swing states — Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, the Post reported.

The ads reportedly stated: "Chief of Staff in Clinton White House will be Huma Abedin, of Pakistani and Saudi background," an apparent reference to Abedin spending much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia. Abedin was born in Michigan.

The FBI has started reviewing some 650,000 emails found on a laptop belonging to Abedin's estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, that may be related to the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server.


Riaz Haq said...

Pro #Trump #Hindu Group's Ad Attacks #HillaryClinton As 'Sympathetic' To #Pakistan http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/republican-hindu-body-attacks-hillary-clinton-as-sympathetic-to-pakistan-1620831 … via @ndtv

A Republican Hindu organisation is running anti-Hillary Clinton advertisement on Indian-American television channels, attacking the Democratic presidential candidate as "sympathetic towards Pakistan" and her longtime aide for her Pakistani origin.

"Hillary, sympathetic towards Pakistan gave billions of dollars in aid and military equipment used against India. She was instrumental in blocking PM Modi's visa. (She) takes contributions from countries and individuals known to support radical Islam," says the ad endorsed by the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC).

The advertisement also attacks former US president and Clinton's husband Bill, and her longtime aide Huma Abedin.

"Her current aide Huma Abedin is of Pakistani origin and will become chief of staff if she wins. Her husband Bill Clinton wants to give Kashmir to Pakistan," it says and calls on Americans to "Vote Republican - great for you, great for US-Indian relations and great for America."

Riaz Haq said...

The Incendiary Appeal of Demagoguery in Our Time. #Trump #Modi #Bigotry

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/opinion/the-incendiary-appeal-of-demagoguery-in-our-time.html?_r=0


The stink first became unmistakable in India in May 2014, when Narendra Modi, a member of an alt-right Hindu organization inspired by fascists and Nazis, was elected prime minister. Like Donald Trump, Mr. Modi rose to power demonizing ethnic-religious minorities, immigrants and the establishment media, and boasting about the size of a body part.

To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre: If the truth remains cloaked in the motherland, in the colonies it stands naked. Before Mr. Trump’s election in America exposed the failures of democracy, they had been revealed in Mr. Modi’s India. Most disturbing, in both places, the alt-rightists were enabled by the conceits, follies and collusion of impeccably mainstream individuals and institutions.

Arguments over what precisely is to blame for Mr. Trump’s apotheosis — inequality, callous globalized elites, corruptible local legislators, zealous ideologues, a news media either toxic or complaisant — will only intensify in the coming months. Writers as various as George Packer and Thomas Frank have already identified as a culprit a professional class of bankers, lawyers, technocrats and pundits. Promoting free trade and financial deregulation around the globe, the Washington Consensus eventually produced too many victims in Washington’s own hinterland.

In the case of India, the role of institutional rot — venal legislators, a mendacious media — and the elites’ moral and intellectual truancy is clear. To see it one only has to remember that Mr. Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, was accused of supervising mass murder and gang rapes of Muslims — and consequently was barred from travel to the United States for nearly a decade — and that none of that prevented him from being elected to India’s highest office.

Mr. Modi’s ascent, like that of many demagogues today, was preordained by the garish dreams of power, wealth and glory that colonized many minds in the age of globalization. Americans are, as Mr. Frank writes, “a population brought up expecting to enjoy life in what it is often told is the richest country in the world.” In India, one of the poorest countries in the world, “the tutelage of a distant and self-satisfied elite” — to borrow from Ross Douthat, describing America — spawned a much more extravagant sense of entitlement. In that elite’s phantasmagoria, the India that embraced deregulation and privatization was a “roaring capitalist success story,” according to a 2006 cover of Foreign Affairs magazine.

The narrative went something like this: Now that the government was getting out of the way of buoyant entrepreneurs, a rising tide was lifting the boats of all Indians aspiring to the richness of the world. Suave technocrats, economists and publicists (mostly U.S.-trained) endlessly regurgitated free-market nostrums (imported from America) — what Mr. Frank calls the “liberalism of the rich.”

The fervent rhetoric about private wealth-creation and its trickle-down benefits openly mocked, and eventually stigmatized, India’s founding ideals of egalitarian and collective welfare. It is this extraordinary historical reversal, and its slick agents, that must be investigated in order to understand the incendiary appeal of demagoguery in our time.

Riaz Haq said...

League of nationalists

Economist Magazine

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21710276-all-around-world-nationalists-are-gaining-ground-why-league-nationalists

It is troubling, then, how many countries are shifting from the universal, civic nationalism towards the blood-and-soil, ethnic sort. As positive patriotism warps into negative nationalism, solidarity is mutating into distrust of minorities, who are present in growing numbers (see chart 1). A benign love of one’s country—the spirit that impels Americans to salute the Stars and Stripes, Nigerians to cheer the Super Eagles and Britons to buy Duchess of Cambridge teacups—is being replaced by an urge to look on the world with mistrust.

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In India ethnic nationalism, never far beneath the surface, is worryingly resurgent. Since 2014 the country has been ruled by Narendra Modi of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party seeks to distance itself from radical Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) groups, which criticise it as “soft” on Pakistan, Muslims and those who harm cows (which are sacred to Hindus). And Mr Modi is urbane, pro-business and friendly towards the West. But he is also a lifelong member of the RSS (National Volunteer Organisation), a 5m-strong Hindu group founded in 1925 and modelled loosely on the Boy Scouts.

Members of the RSS parade in khaki uniforms, do physical jerks in the morning, help old ladies cross the street, pick up litter—and are occasional recruits for extremist groups that beat up left-wing students. And last year Mr Modi’s minister of culture, Mahesh Sharma, said that a former president was a patriot “despite being a Muslim”. The minister remains in his job.

Hindutva purports to represent all Hindus, who are four-fifths of India’s population. It promises a national rebirth, a return to an idealised past and the retrieval of an “authentic” native identity. Its adherents see themselves as honest folk fighting corrupt cosmopolitans. They have changed India’s political language, deriding “political correctness”, and calling critical journalists “presstitutes” and political opponents “anti-national”. The RSS also exerts huge sway over education and the media. Some states and schools have adopted textbooks written by RSS scholars that play up the role of Hindutva leaders and marginalise more secular ones.

The BJP has made a big push to control the judiciary by changing rules for appointments, but has met strong resistance. It does not control most states in the east and south. Many of the educated elite despise it. And banging on too much about Hinduism and not enough about the economy is thought to have cost it a state election in Bihar last year.

So India will not slide easily into Turkish-style autocracy—but plenty of secular, liberal Indians are nervous. The police, especially, are thought to favour the ruling party. A reporter nabbed by cops for the “crime” of filming angry crowds outside a bank in Delhi this week says they threatened him with a beating and said: “Who gave you permission to film? Our government has changed; you can’t just take pictures anywhere you like any more.”

Riaz Haq said...

Does #India’s Right Wing #Hindu Have Any Ideas? #Modi #BJP
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/opinion/does-indias-right-wing-have-any-ideas.html?_r=1


What all these people had in common was an immense sense of grievance against an establishment they had vanquished electorally, but whose ideas still defined them. As the journalist Ashok Malik said while pointing out the right’s many victories, “Rather than confidently advance tomorrow’s agenda, the intellectual warriors of the right are still comfortable fighting the battles of yesterday.”

The targets of their rage are internationally familiar: the liberal elite, the news media, academia. But in India there is an added twist, a double sense of affront. It was not merely elitism that the New Right is reacting against, but an elitism that had the secret backing of the West, through its various newspapers, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks.

“So if you are an embattled Hindu, or even an atheist Indian,” Rajeev Srinivasan wrote in the right-wing magazine Swarajya, “you feel there is an entire constellation of powers with a negative intent arrayed against you, and that they have created a galaxy of sepoys, especially in media and academia.”

Historically, a “sepoy” was an Indian soldier serving in the British Army. It has become a favorite jibe on the right for an Anglicized liberal elite that was seen to be working against its own country.


At first glance it would seem that Shaurya Doval, who had organized the conclave, is part of such an elite. His father had been the director of India’s internal intelligence agency. He grew up in privilege, traveling the world. He has a business degree from the University of Chicago, and spent 10 years as a Wall Street banker.

But Mr. Doval, in fact, represents a new pain that globalization has wrought: the pain of cultural loss. In America, he had a revelation. “The eureka moment,” he told me, “came when I discovered the disconnect between what India really is, and who I am.”

It was true. The Indian elite had gloried in this disconnect; “foreigners in their own land,” Gandhi had called them in 1916. Even the modern state had in many ways been an extension of colonial power. Here, in Goa, it was as if the entire intellectual enterprise was suspect. Many felt that Western ideas like liberalism, secularism and freedom of speech had been used cynically against them to maintain the power of a cultural oligarchy. These exalted words were now terms of abuse.

But that did not mean the right wing had ideas of its own. Mr. Doval spoke of the need for “modern Indian state players” to make “a connect” with “India’s civilizational ethos.” He felt India had not been able to unlock the potential of its young, energetic population because the modern state represented too abrupt a break with the continuity of old India.

But was it really possible to reverse this process? Could modern India be remade to fit these sentimental longings? And didn’t all modernity represent a rupture with tradition?

The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which had, until recently, dominated politics since independence, was the supreme political achievement of an older English-speaking elite. Mr. Modi’s election was the crowning achievement of this new Indian elite.

The writer Patrick French, who was also at the Goa conclave, said of the right, “I’ve never ignored these people because I could see they had a political future.”