If you want to get a feel about an Indian event, or major news happening India – read the foreign press, not the Indian one, which tends to follow the dots.
Most of the US Media, which paid only attention to the event because Trump was present, implied that Trump was side-lined and was only a pawn in Modi’s triumph. That is good, as Trump is basically a shrewd businessman, always on the lookout for a quick buck and there, Mr Modi showed he was a superior strategist. Even an hostile BBC had to admit that in the rally, Modi was the superstar, not Trump! True, Trump courted the votes of the Indian Americans for 2020, but to my knowledge the majority of NRI’s remain faithful to the democrats – only maybe 20% will vote for Trump.
No doubt, Howdy Modi was a huge success in terms of attendance, enthusiasm and hype. Unfortunately, American Media, like the New York Times still harped on Kashmir and the abrogation of Article 370 – an irony by the most targeted country by Islamic fundamentalism and still reeling from the horrors of the 9/11 attacks. Of course, AL Jazeera, a TV funded by Qatar, a strong proponent of Sunni radicalism and which has hired with million of petro dollars, some of the famous (and leftists) western newscasters from BBC or CNN, also spoke about Kashmir and mentioned that there were thousands protesting outside the stadium, although they cant have been more than a few hundred.
Four remarks : however successful the Howdy Modi show was and in spite of the huge cheering crowd, the Indian community in the United States, which is reportedly at least 4 million strong, is incredibly divided, not only between religions – Muslims, Christians and Hindus – but also there are hundreds of Hindu organizations each fighting each other. What is needed is that they regroup under a united umbrella so as to have in the United States the kind of political lobby the Jewish have. This will help Modi better than a Howy Modi event that remains a temporary firework and nothing much left afterwards.
Secondly the greatest brain drain in the world, is that of the Hindus towards the United States, yesterday and today. Is it not time that the best brains stay in India and those who have gone to the US start coming back to invest their money and talent in their own country? I for one am not very impressed by these Indian NRI’ss who sound more Americans than the Americans and forget all about their Indian-ness and roots
Then, the fact that Trump is going to meet the Pakistani Prime Minister soon after, who that the US still follows the old British custom which put Pakistan and India on the same footing – whereas the former is a failed, bankrupt country at the mercy of the army and the second a vibrant strong pro-western democracy. The West has to make a choice between these two countries – and the US still believes in spite of so much terrorism coming from Pak still banks on this country.
Finally, Mr Modi is right, India needs American investment – and Trump is right too – the Indian Government must make it easier for foreigners and NRI’s to invest in India. There are still many hurdles, much bureaucracy and corruption that come in the way. India needs to look towards China and how they managed to cap so much western money.