Why Trump will be Disastrous for India

[This was written in response to many statements from Indians Right-wingers, and particularly as a response to an article in swarajyamag.com ]

When it comes to policies, Trump is like a canvas, with a few ugly squiggles in a corner, while the rest of it is blank. Everyone, given what their prejudices are, is painting in their favorite colors in the empty part.

The author of the Swarajya article, on the other hand does something more interesting; he paints an ugly portrait of the Democrats and a conspiratorial “Deep State” fantasy (LOL), and then does some hand-waving on Trump, and Voila, Donald is your uncle! Clearly the writer’s Deep-Hate bias is at the root of this Deep-State belief and rejection of the Democrats and therefore Hillary Clinton.

The reason many Indian Right-wingers imagine a champion in Trump is because, among the scant few things known about Trump’s worldview, his hatred for Islam and the Muslims is one, a sentiment which resonates with most of them. Many forget that under Bush Jr., ostensibly a friend of India, what India gained was lost many times over by the damage he inflicted on the planet. Countless Indians were not lifted out of poverty because the global economy was left reeling in his wake. The world was left in a much more dangerous state after two wars that he started, one of them in the neighborhood of India.

On the other hand, Trump’s boorishness and crass behavior don’t exist in a vacuum. It is not as if you ignored the rough parts, the rest of him will look pleasant. His manifest behavior is consistent with an extremely selfish, megalomaniacal, narcissistic personality, with no concern for anything or anyone except what would help him or aggrandise him. And the personality is consistent with his track record as a businessman. He is known to be a bully, unethical and untrustworthy, with many who dealt with him left to suffer financial ruin and a bitter aftertaste. Extrapolating Trump’s behavior to his foreign policy, one can visualize a trail of broken promises, messy trade disputes and wars started at a whim, with no thought for the devastation left behind.

Hillary Clinton is no angel either. But the worst that she can be accused of is nurturing a burning ambition for decades. Just like Trump she has done things that are inexcusable. However, unlike Trump she has a stellar record of legislative and community performance. There are countless tales of her dogged determination in pursuing much wanted policy changes and in solving some of the most prickly issues in America or in the world. No one can fault her for not doing her homework (something that Trump has shown pronounced dislike for). She cannot be accused of having a favorable sentiment toward India. But are her feelings for India worse than they are for Russia, with whom, she famously tried to press the “reset button”? She tried to reset relations with Russia, a country she probably hates, because she is a pragmatic leader and realized Russia’s global importance. Since then, India too, with Modi now at the helm, has gained significant clout. India is no more a pushover like it was under Manmohan Singh. It is inevitable that she will want to take India with her because the bigger danger now is from China. No global alliance against China now can be imagined without an India in it.

Bottomline, Trump could unleash a tidal wave that will set the world back by decades. India, which has just started to gain momentum, and is benefiting from the slowly stabilizing global economy will be the most affected by his misadventures. Hillary, on the other hand, will view India with greater respect than she has in the past and if she does inflict any damage, it will be of minor nature. More than likely, she will continue to work with India to build a strong alliance to counter China’s growing aggressiveness. She will not favor Pakistan, as is widely feared, because she has already witnessed the effect of the growing tide of resentment against the Islamic terrorism. One consequence of this tide is the phenomenon called Trump.

Addendum 12–01–2016, Thursday

So this just happened.

Donald had a very friendly talk with Nawaz. Trump said things as if he has no clue of how Pakistan has been siphoning off aid from America while repeatedly stabbed it in the back, has kept the world on an edge because of its narrow minded obsession with putting India down, and that it is the epicenter of Islamic terrorism, which Trump promised bringing to heel many times during his campaign.

I guess, soon we could hear, “You know me, my words mean nothing. So many times I say things that are meaningless. You can check my record”.

Once Trump got elected, I had promised that I will keep an open mind about him. I will give him a chance to prove me wrong. And I have ignored a dozen other quite disturbing things, but this cannot be ignored. This is the first black mark against him. First Black Mark! And he is not even sworn in yet.

Addendum 12–04–2016, Sunday

Trump plans to be nasty to all companies that take manufacturing abroad. This is what he said in a series of tweets

This will be a setback for India, for which the only way to lift its millions out of poverty is to increase its manufacturing base. We will wait and see how this impacts the “Make in India” program.

Addendum, 01–27–2017, Friday

Trump administration imposed a ban on immigration from 7 Islamic countries. Notable exceptions are the brains and the bank of fundamentalist Islam, Saudi Arabia, and the global headquarters of Islamic terror, Pakistan. Also excluded are countries where Trump has significant business interests.