If America under the current presidency of Donald Trump respects human rights and democratic principles, Trump should not visit India.
By Rakesh Raman
The Narendra Modi government is inviting beleaguered U.S. President Donald Trump to be the chief guest at the 2019 Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Indian newspaper TOI reports that Trump administration is seriously considering the invitation that was sent in April this year.
However, it may be difficult for Trump to make a firm commitment because he is facing a serious probe being carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller to know the extent of Trump-Russia ties that allegedly helped Trump win the 2016 presidential race.
The Mueller investigation has already entered the White House and he is soon expected to interrogate Trump. Many of Trump’s associates are already in Mueller’s dragnet. In all probability, Trump will also be indicted before India’s Republic Day event that will happen on January 26 next year.
Both Trump and Modi are facing fierce opposition from common people and political parties in their respective countries. They do not truly represent the people of their countries.
Trump, for example, is facing multiple investigations – which may lead to Trump’s impeachment for his alleged illegal ties with enemy nation Russia.
Of late, fired FBI director James Comey said in his testimony that Trump had fired him to undermine FBI’s Russia investigation to know if Trump or his associates had links with Russia to change the outcome of 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. Trump’s conduct is being construed as a possible case of ‘obstruction of justice’ which may strip him of his presidency.
While Americans believe that Trump is not fit to become the President because of his uncivil language and unstable thoughts, most Indians are equally disturbed with Modi’s work and his past record. In an ongoing RMN Poll, only 18% people in India are satisfied with the performance of Modi.
Modi and Muslims
Worse, Modi – like Trump – carries an anti-Muslim image. The Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is an overtly Hindu party, has gone to an extreme to make India a Hindu Rashtra (a nation only for people who belong to the Hindu religion). And in the current Modi rule, all attempts are being made to persecute Muslims in India.
As Modi won the 2014 election by exploiting the religious sentiment of Hindu voters (almost 80% of people in India are Hindus), he is actually a communal politician. In order to woo the Hindu voters, he can even resort to violence against minority communities.
Modi, who was an accused in the Gujarat riots of 2002 in which nearly 2,000 Muslims were murdered, won the Lok Sabha election on the promise that he will make India a Hindu Rashtra where local Muslims will not be treated as true Indians.
Most Hindu voters bit the bait and voted for Modi as a religious demagogue rather than a wise leader. The dilemma began for Indian people as soon as Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014 because he is not trained to manage any field that requires professional competence.
In the 2002 Gujarat riots, while about 2,000 Muslims were killed, there were incidents of rape, robbery, and widespread destruction of property affecting Muslims.
It was alleged that the killings were executed at the behest of Modi who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Although Indian courts have almost exonerated Modi in this case, most Muslims in India still believe that Modi was responsible for Gujarat massacre. The less said about the Indian courts, the better.
According to Human Rights Watch, the attacks against Muslims in Gujarat were actively supported by state government officials and the police. Police told Muslims, “We don’t have any orders to save you.”
As a result, the U.S. administration denied visa to Modi in view of the allegations of human rights violations against him in the 2002 incidents of riots and carnage. But now as he has become the PM of India, Modi is visting the U.S. frequently because now he enjoys political immunity.
During his visit in India in 2015, the U.S. President Barack Obama did not mince his words when he expressed his concern over the communal violence and religious hatred in the country under Modi’s leadership. He also suggested that the Indian government must ensure religious freedom for all its citizens.
In the past four years since he became the PM, Modi has aimlessly visited more than four dozen countries. He is wasting public money worth millions of dollars (or crores of rupees) on his foreign tours that are nothing more than fun trips of a simpleton who is desperately trying to find an identity on foreign soils.
Obviously, people of India including the opposition parties are perturbed over Modi’s excessive foreign excursions because there is no Return on Investment (RoI) analysis available on his travel expenses.
Although Modi has kept a Sushma Swaraj as External Affairs (Foreign) Minister, she has been relegated to a mere figurehead role while Modi himself keeps traveling in the name of managing external affairs.
But is Modi a suitable person to represent India in developed parts of the world? No; because Modi is perhaps the most naïve and illiterate PM that India has ever seen. He can’t utter even a single word about any modern subject. His level of knowledge is not more than that of a bumpkin.
There is a huge controversy in India about the educational qualifications of Modi. A political outfit Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal says that the academic degrees being shown by Modi to prove his literacy level are fake. AAP’s allegations against Modi carry weight.
Picture this: Even when Modi reads the speeches written for him by others, it’s difficult to make heads or tails of his meaningless utterances as he is uneducated and speaks in broken English.
In fact, educated Indians believe that Modi should never be sent on any foreign trip because with his naivety he is giving a bad name to India. And no wise person would attend his events in India or abroad.
If foreign corporate leaders or politicians are making a beeline for Modi, they see a foolish buyer in him. As the PM of India, he is squandering public money worth billions of dollars to buy foreign products and services which are not required at all in India.
Modi is spending public money lavishly just to gain some cheap publicity for himself on foreign lands because as an illiterate, Modi is suffering from inferiority complex.
During the past four years of Modi’s rule in India, the country has gone back by almost 40 years. While the religious persecution against minority communities is rampant, unrestrained inflation, dwindling economy, and political corruption have become pain in the neck for commoners in India.
The global anti-corruption organization Transparency International has lowered India’s rank from last year’s position of 79 to 81 this year. According to the Transparency data, India with a poor score of 40 is more corrupt than countries such as China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Mauritius.
As corruption has been increasing exponentially under Modi government, the Supreme Court of India has asked the government to appoint Lokpal, the top anti-corruption ombudsman in India.
Under Modi government, the already deformed democracy in the country has become a plutocracy or perhaps kleptocracy (the rule by thieves) controlled by the corporate bigwigs who hobnob with Modi.
If America under the current presidency of Trump respects human rights and democratic principles, Trump should not visit India. Also, Modi should not be allowed to enter America. Rather, Trump administration must cancel Modi’s visa like the previous U.S. administration did.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.