By Akshat Tyagi:
If you haven’t yet laughed at a Trump meme or troll, you are at potential risk of missing out global entertainment. With impressive credentials of a failed Trump Shuttle, discontinued Trump Vodka, Trump Magazine, sued Trump University, sold Miss Universe, disappeared Trump Ice, insane reality show and of course, the Wrestlemania – the US has elected its most qualified President.
The fact that the world’s hegemon of 318.9 million people could come up with only Clinton and Trump to lead the country is itself laughable (and only worrying). America actually shattered the myth of only ‘pauper-illiterates’ being capable of electing insane leaders.
Take for instance Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state with 204.2 million people. The patriarch of the ruling party here has the courage to say, when asked to comment on the rising number of sexual assaults, “Boys are boys, they sometimes do make mistakes.” He, unlike Donald Trump, doesn’t even have to apologise for it being locker-room talk. He’s serious when he says, “Rural women are not that attractive, so they will not gain from Women’s Reservation Bill.” Uttar Pradesh also enjoys an undeclared two-party system, with two equally bad options to choose from – Mulayam and Mayawati. All you need to triumph is to promise laptops or play your caste-cards.
Bihar has produced leaders who regularly abuse democracy by ruling from jails through their rubber-stamp spouses, and win elections while out on bails and paroles. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar together equal the total number of people in the United States. If you need more scrolls of honour, Maharashtra – bigger than Germany and France put together – needs no introduction for its political class dominated by goons. Imagine a Merkel brokering a deal between a film producer and a demagogue issuing violent threats to prevent the release of a film because it features a Polish actor.
Even while Islamophobia may not be in the Indian vocabulary, let us not forget it was this same ‘othering’ of Muslims that gave us our present Prime Minister. And talking of deporting Muslims or banning their entry is yet not as vicious as massacring them.
Even if a wall is actually built on the US-Mexico border, it is for certain that Americans will not allow a meat-item to be taken off their plate, nor would they let a parallel policing system of extortionists be erected.
Yes, Trump did speak derogatorily of women during his campaign but so do our CMs, former CMs, Cabinet Ministers, chiefs of national parties, and also our PM. Though it may be difficult to put sexist comments on a weighing pan. “When a daughter is born, plant a tree. Twenty years later, you can sell five trees for her wedding,” this was world’s largest democracy’s PM endorsing dowry and belittling the status of women as only marriageable materials.
On another occasion, he commented, “Wah kya girlfriend hai! Apne kabhi dekha hai 50 crore ka girlfriend?” (What a girlfriend! Have you ever seen a Rs 50-crore girlfriend?)
Mr Modi also had a Twitter hashtag trend #DespiteBeingAWomen to his credit when he used this phrase to describe Shiekh Hasina’s leadership in Bangladesh.
Our ears have fallen deaf to our own misogyny, racism, communalism and hypocrisy. The real difference between Trump and the Indian head of government is that of experience. The latter has learnt better public-relations. The world bows to power – like everything about Trump was forgotten as soon as he crossed the 270 mark, Modi too was forgiven after a visa-ban of years.
I will laugh at you only once I am done laughing at myself. We don’t have to wait for somebody to remind us with a look-whose-calling-the-kettle-black!