When Joe Biden took oath as the 46th president of the United States of America, a lot of buzz in India too erupted amongst few groups. Surprisingly, one can see this as a very common thought on many foreign media houses too. The idea is of ‘Trump gone, Modi next’ which automatically builds a parallel between both the leaders. Also, in a way, it wraps the politics of ‘Hindutva Realism’ (many claim it to be the ideology of the BJP) with the right-wing ideology of the west. But, does this comparison really hold any substance? Also, is it popular amongst the Indian masses too?
The first argument that is used is the fact that both the leaders have pro-right orientation. Here one must understand that the roots where this left and right wing politics gained momentum was the French Revolution where the ones against the state were in the left wing and vice versa. Even though, with time these ideas have evolved, they are still nowhere in the political ocean of India. For example- many left leaning people in this nation who oppose the central government stand as staunch supporter of state governments from other parties. This in itself makes the left ideology a misnomer in the Indian federal system. Therefore, when these right and left ideas themselves don’t fit well into the Indian scenario, how come the democratically elected Prime Minister be framed as a right winger!
The second basis for the comparison is actually an extrapolation of the fake equivalence between Trump’s policy of checking the entry of immigrants from Islamic nations into the US and Narendra Modi’s policies on CAA and NRC. As CAA doesn’t stop someone from attaining citizenship of India but only makes it easier for a mere 31000 non-muslims who are very much stateless due to the Sharia following countries they belong to and NRC is still not into existent at the national level, comparisons like these openly shout propaganda. Also, India is a developing nation unlike the US. The Government must use its power to prioritize its citizens first along with their security.
One more stand is that of nationalism. Modi and Trump are seen to be similar because of policies like ‘America-first’ being compared to the nationalist stance of the RSS. Also, many left leaning people see nationalism as a divisive force in itself. But we forget that we belong to a nation where a revolutionary like Prafull Chaki shot himself in repentance after mistakenly throwing a bomb on a carriage that was supposed to carry the unpopular judge of Muzzaffarpur-Kingsford, carrying two British women. The nationalism of Indians is about preserving the uniqueness of our ‘home’ unlike the west where it transforms into an expansionist force, a reason behind the plight of many in the middle-east. Thus, instead of painting everything in single colour, people in India shall propagate the nationalism that would make the world a better place.
On the other note, just like the EVMs are targeted in India by many who disregard both the Constitutional bodies as well as the judiciary, even the Republicans in the US targeted the election results. One can also see the violence on the Republic Day in India similar to the one that happened at the Capital region in the US. This would flip the comparison 180 degrees painting the opposition in the same colour with the Trump administration. But then, this has no end. Afterall, ‘false equivalence’ is a type of logical fallacy that tends to fix with a mindset rigidly no matter how much rational arguments are given otherwise. What we need is to stop comparing everything to the west. Only when we embrace our originality, which is much complex still unique, we can truly become a ‘Vishwa Guru’ we aspire to be.