Largest democracies on test

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/30/2018 12:44:36 PM IST

 America under Trump and India under Modi throw up the similarities and dissimilarities between the two leaders of two of the world’s largest democracies which makes interesting reading. One similarity is that both represent the right wing ideology in the political spectrum of their respective countries. Both believe in promoting ultra nationalism in their respective countries focussing on ambition to taking their military to the highest level. Both target Islamic fundamentalism and are against unabated influx of immigrants. Both men were able to appeal to the populist elements in America and India, and they both exposed and played upon the gross dissatisfaction with the previous incumbents. Today if division in India that existed in more subtle ways had been sharpened, it owes this to the ideology and language of the Modi brand of politics. The same is also happening in the USA where the division between the right wing and liberals has indeed surpassed racism. Ideology of terror is an evolution. An ideology that seeks to bring drastic change and uses violence against those who differ soon graduates into terrorism. It is different from those who seek to terrorise, maim or destroy under the guise of ideology. An ideology that graduates into terror is a scenario that has become synonymous with right wing extremists. These are signs that similarly play out in Trump’s America and Modi’s India. It means that terror isn’t always a weapon of the weak – it can also be used to support the powerful. The case in India appears to be showing a similar outbreak in Trump’s America. The liberals and left loathe the way Modi’s ideology appears to find resonance with a large section of those who relish a “strong, decisive and effective leader”; the likes of who they have not seen for many decades barring Indira Gandhi’s dominance. The horrific assaults in India or the recent posting of letter bombs in the USA point to how the far-right extremist groups feel empowered by the electoral victories of their demagogues, which they interpret as a sign of public legitimacy. When no action is taken against them, or when those in the highest authority don’t openly condemn then this is seen as a sign of lenient authorities, concurring such political ideologies. In any situation, the consistent increase in the violence by the so-called “fringe elements” who share the same ideology with the political camp currently controlling all branches of government is clear that these acts were perpetrated by individuals with clear political agendas. Thus when perpetration of an ideology is pursued by violence and intimidation it is nothing short of being terrorism. In India, the space given to the ‘fringe elements/extremists’ comes from the fact that they obtain inspiration for what they are doing because the political regime is perceived to be supportive of their acts. When the government in India only speaks out when asked to do, against the violence perpetrated by right wing extremists, it can only mean that their acts are sanctioned so long there is no protest. If not also, even police have learnt not to take stringent action in lieu of the kind of hate politics going around along communal lines. Trump also attacks Islamic terrorism but does not see much offence in radicalization of right wingers. Trump’s reluctance to single out and criticize far-right groups and activities also rings a bell in India.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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