Elections tend to throw up some interesting comparisons. The treatment of Donald Trump by the American media is as fair or biased as that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India. In both cases the media has failed to correctly assess the two candidates, their strengths and weaknesses, their popularity with the masses, their capacity to write new history for their respective countries. The media in both cases kept on prescribing, directing and preaching the people in the idiom so diligently practiced by them during the Cold War and perfected with intimidating precision to overwhelm the people in the developing countries more and their own in greater numbers. All codes, conventions and caveats in the name of human rights, civil rights, equality, natural justice, democracy, peace & development have been used to create two worlds – one in possession of these modern values and the other in need of them. In the process they forgot completely the threats to the very survival of those who embraced these ideas. It was 9/11 which delivered a powerful jolt to these classes who mistook it for something out of the ordinary until it became the ordinary with regularity in occurrence. It is not as if it is only countries far away from American soil that were paying heavy price for implementing these ideas of the modern society. It has caused terrible human misery in Europe and America. The world today is living in fear and the soft talk of the liberal societies is not going to redeem it. Who would have thought that the military superpowers can be put under fear by non-governments or lone wolves? Today they are taken seriously, though they were dismissed with contempt till about 5 years ago. The problem is that it is not going to end in the near future. So can the old cold War rhetoric in use in the media serve it now? The people think otherwise and have come to trust Donald Trump against all the hostile media reports. It is unbounded hostility shown by the American media towards Donald Trump which is being compared with the Narendra Modi campaign for Prime Minister in 2014 when the media indulged in unlimited hostility in India, particularly the English language media. Funnily, American visa to Modi was invoked more frequently by the media in their editorials than the many utterances of Trump against terrorists or export of jobs to India and China.
There is really no comparison between the two leaders excepting the role of the media. The media in both cases has failed to learn and continued to preach and make horribly wrong assessment of the public mood and the popularity of these two leaders with them. Otherwise Donald Trump is a rich man and Modi a not-rich man; Trump an astute American businessman and Modi a public servant in the true mold of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave; Trump a part time politician and Modi a full time one. There is one similarity though – both have attracted in abundance negative compliments from the media. At times it looked as if an aspirant to the highest office in the country needed a kind of a license from the media, an endorsement from the journalists and a ticket from the self-certified civil society members. Both Trump in America and Modi in India earlier failed to get the approval ratings from all of them. There is a striking similarity in the coverage of the American primaries, the attack on Donald Trump and the harshness of language as published in Indian newspapers with what was observed in 2013 and 2014 in India against Narendra Modi. The primary source of authentic information for us here in New Delhi can only be CNN and the BBC. They have not been flattering about Donald Trump at least, though I am not sure if they had even approved Hillary Clinton. Sadly the extracts from the New York Times & Washington Post appearing in write-ups in the Indian newspapers didn’t refer to even a single quality of Trump, though they were always generous with recounting his shortcomings. History throws up leaders required by the people in a democracy.
Lest history is recorded wrongly in India after sometime, I have captured the significant developments of the past 3 years under the leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and the impact of his decisions for not only India but the entire world in my book “Narendra Modi: Changing Direction of the Wind and Challenges Ahead” (available both as paperback and e-book on Amazon).
The book will be useful for scholars and readers interested in democracy and government in India, leadership, managing complex socio-economic demands, Indian society and politics, terrorism, global security concerns and media.