1. Modi, Trump and their contrasting takes on terrorism: Comparison of their speeches in UAE, Saudi Arabia

Modi, Trump and their contrasting takes on terrorism: Comparison of their speeches in UAE, Saudi Arabia

It has often been argued that there are a lot of similarities between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Donald Trump.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 22, 2017 5:07 PM
donald trump speech in saudi arabia, donald trump speech in riyadh, narendra modi speech in uae, narendra modi donald trump, modi trump, trump modi, modi trump terrorism, modi on terrorism US President Donald Trump and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Reuters/PTI file)

It has often been argued by political commentators that there are a lot of similarities between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Donald Trump. However, when it comes to their respective actions and speeches, both leaders appear to be remarkably different from each other. Take for instance terrorism. In his first official visit to a state outside the US, Trump on Sunday apparently put the onus of fighting against terrorism on all Muslim countries.

“…But the nations of the Middle East (West Asia) cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you…It is a choice between two futures – and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out,” Trump said.

In contrast, PM Modi during his first visit to West Asia in August 2015 had appealed to all countries that believe in humanity to unite to fight against terrorism. “Until the world community keep the countries that support terror mentality, terrorism and their supporters on one side, and countries that believe in humanity on the other side, and the time have come for countries that believe in humanity to unite to fight against terrorism,” Modi had said while addressing the Indian Community at Dubai.

Watch PM Narendra Modi’s speech in Dubai in August 2015

While Trump did talk about the need for the “good forces” of the world to unite in fight against terrorism, his speech sounded more like the one coming from a businessman, who means just business. “Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land. America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security,” Trump said.

There can be no cure to the curse of terrorism as long as powerful countries of the world continue to make deals with countries that are infamous for aiding and abetting terrorism. Secondly, terrorism cannot be ended as long as world powers try to shed their responsibility as Trump appears to be doing with this statement during his speech: “Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.”

The fight against evil must be a collective effort of the powers that project themselves as “good”. This requires a global, collective work and moreover an acknowledgment of what Modi had said in 2015: “Terrorism doesn’t have boundaries. No one knows when they will attack which boundary. Even today while I was coming here, I heard that there was a bomb blast in Bangkok, innocent people were killed. India has been facing such incidents continuously,” the PM said.

During his speech, Trump mentioned how many countries including the US, India, China and Australia have been victims of terrorism. “The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.”

Watch Donald Trump’s speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

While Trump talked about how China is also a victim of terrorism, he chose not to speak about the Chinese duplicity that openly supports Pakistani terrorism directed against India.

This acknowledgment coming from a world leader that India is also a victim of terrorism is welcome, but late. In his speech, Modi had said, “Brothers and sisters, today the world is scared of terrorism and it breeds hatred. I want to tell the world that we the people of Hindustan have been a victim of terrorism for 40-40 yeas. Our innocent people have been killed by the bullets of terrorists. And, whenever I used to get the opportunity to talk to people of the world 25-30 years ago, they didn’t have the capacity to understand terrorism. They used to tell me that this is your (India’s) policing problem, law and order problem. Now they have understood the dreadful face of terrorism.”

Trump talked about terror groups that are mostly affecting American interests at present. “The true toll of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.” But he chose not to talk about terrorism sponsored by Pakistan against India and apparently committed the same mistake Modi had appealed the world to shun two years ago. “Good Taliban-Bad Taliban, Good Terrorism- Bad Terrorism, these are not going to work now. Everyone would have to decide whether to be with terrorism or humanity. India continues to face these acts even today.”

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