The times we live in throw up surprises. Donald Trump’s election as US President is one such surprise. An undercurrent of disenchantment with the Establishment has enabled the Republican candidate to romp to victory. Trump’s election was definitely a momentous event in the annals of American history with repercussions for the whole world. The nation has revealed itself by the kind of leader it has elected. In a way, America has rediscovered its white supremacism. The rephrased slogan to bring Trump to power in the manner we did proved prophetic. Indeed, we cannot help drawing a parallel between the election of Narendra Modi and that of Trump. By Rajnath Singh’s own admission, Trump followed the Modi’s way and won. In the President-elect we have an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the collaboration between them should transcend the reason for which the Hindu outfits in India and America are celebrating Trump’s election. Given the string of accusations of sexual misconduct that rocked the campaign, it was amazing that Donald Trump was not spurned by enough number of women voters to deny him the presidency. Even evangelical and born-again Christians went for Trump as they probably saw in him a crusader in shining armour. Trump has to now undergo a metamorphosis from a demagogue to a statesman to do justice to his job as US President and ‘make America great again’. It is a paradox that the less educated working class of the Caucasian population voted in overwhelming numbers for a billionaire businessman with more contempt than compassion for the poor. Trump must rewrite the pre-election script and build bridges and not build walls. Of the dos and don’ts, Trump has to desist from raising the ‘clash of civilisations’ to a new level and avert a global disaster. On a lighter note, he has to stop groping women and then bragging about it even as ‘locked door banter’. A foil to the outgoing President, Trump should not deliver on the promises he made in the run-up to the election. He cannot simply disregard the massive protests that have broken out against his election and go about pursuing his exclusivist agenda. Now it is up to Trump to demonstrate that his election does not mark the beginning of the ‘decline and fall’ of America. A tree is known by the fruit it bears.
G David Milton, Maruthacode
Apropos of the report “Centre demonetises R500, R1,000” (FE, November 9), the government’s decision to demonetise the old 500- and 1,000-rupee notes has evoked a positive response from economists and industrialists. This is the first time in the history of Indian politics that a prime minister has shown actual leadership in taking on the black economy. No doubt, the common man would have to face some trouble because of this decision, but soon everything will be alright. It is nice that the PM, without giving any indication of such a drastic move, carried out a surgical strike and parties who thrive on black money are dumb-founded. The Congress is the worst-affected, and is crying foul and creating panic. The PM has been slowly taking action, beginning with the Jan Dhan Yojana to bring a large number of people into the formal finance ecosystem. Most of the real estate transactions in the country are done using unaccounted cash. When black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty, steps like this will indeed strengthen India’s economy and democracy despite some short-term discomfort that is inevitable. More such action must follow for ferreting out undeclared wealth stored in other ways. People who have amassed cash illegally in large quantities will find their business terminated suddenly. The government needs to introduce laws where transactions and service payment above a certain amount is also banned.
Vinod C Dikshit, Ahmedabad
The American dream?
The election of Republican nominee Donald Trump as the 45th president of the US can largely be attributed to the xenophobic attitude and a dislike for Muslims of the common American, and Trump espoused the aspirations of working-class whites. The real estate billionaire-turned-politician’s triumph shows that America is indeed a land of opportunities, where anyone with the right aspirational module can become a president. It was “yes, we can” with Barack Obama. While India is watching Trump’s foreign policy, especially vis-a-vis Pakistan, Americans are anxious about the policies on immigration, gun control laws and jobs. It is time Hillary Clinton reflected on issues that matter to Americans, her oratory and professional skills and past achievements, aside.
R Prabhu Raj, Bengaluru