May 26, 2014
I take issue with Washington Post’s portrayal of India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and India (“Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi sworn in as India’s prime minister,” Post, May 26, 2014).
First, one correction. The backdrop of his oath-taking, Rashtrapati Bhavan, is not the Prime Minister’s residence, but that of the President of India (“Modi was sworn in on the forecourt of the historic residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan…”). A better description of that backdrop would be the Mall in front of our Capitol building.
Second, we need to address Mr. Modi as the Prime Minister of India, the head of State of the largest democracy in India, just like we address Mr. Obama as our President, and as the Head of State of the oldest and the most powerful democracy in the world. We do not label our President as a Muslim, but as a leader of all Americans. Similarly, Mr. Modi, a devout Hindu, is a leader of 1.1 billion people of India – one in every seven human on earth.
I believe that America is a nation of many religions, with Christians a majority. We are not a Christian nationalist nation. Similarly, India is a nation, and the birthplace, of many religions, with a Hindu majority. India is a Secular democracy like ours.
So, instead of (mis)labeling Mr. Modi and India, let’s celebrate our common bond in democracy and religious freedom, join hands to fight terrorism, and build on trade and investment.
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The verdict is out. We have witnessed history being made. The citizens of India have given their mandate. It is after 30 years that a party has won the elections riding on the power of absolute majority. Clearly what no one had imagined, NaMo had foreseen. As the Congress nose dived to a crushing defeat, it was the turn of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to smile their way to the bank.
The pundits had predicted a BJP win and all the experts had tipped Narendra Modi to become the next Prime Minister, but no one had imagined such a phenomenal margin of victory. Coalition governance which had become a norm for the last 2 odd decades was thrown out of the window as the voters took a dip in the NaMo wave and in turn ensured a phenomenal win for BJP.
Giving its own twist to the election flavor was US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), which came up with the innovative idea of conducting a series of trailblazing election calls with a series of election experts to give the Indian Americans a slice of what it feels to be in the midst of a great spectacle. Week after week experts of the ilk of Kanwal Sibal, Yashwant Deshmukh, Shahid Siddiqui, Madhav Nalpat and Jagdeep Chhokar amongst many others discussed their views and ideas about the Indian Elections. The calls were a resounding success and gave the Indian Americans a ringside view of the Indian Elections.
Carrying that trend ahead, USINPAC has now introduced a series of calls which would further analyze the post election fever and connect you to experts who will not just tell you what really happened, but will also help decode the cabinet. The calls will focus on who will form a part of the new cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the different portfolios on offer and who are the most suitable candidates. The calls would also shed light on the impact of the elections and how Delhi would welcome a new government. USINPAC promises to bring you prominent leaders and a great panel of experts who will discuss in detail the road ahead.
With the first series of calls turning out to be such a raging success, the new series of calls are all set to witness an even better response. As Sanjay Puri, Chairman, USINPAC says, “After the BJP’s thumping victory, the policy makers, businessmen, and investors would keenly be observing the next course of action which Modi’s government takes. Like our last series of calls, through this initiative we aim to provide a better understanding of India to our U.S. members so that bilateral relations which are seeing a rocky present have a cooperative future.”
This week the expert will be Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi who is the National Spokesperson for BJP & the Political Advisor to BJP President Rajnath Singh . To register for the call, click here.
US Senator John McCain has congratulated Narendra Modi and his party on the resounding electoral success in the Lok Sabha elections and hoped to work with his government to revitalise bilateral relations.
“I congratulate Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party for their resounding success in India’s election — an election that was, by itself, a powerful and inspiring demonstration of the vibrancy of the world’s largest democracy,” McCain said.
McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in the 2004 elections, said: “the successful rise of India as a prosperous nation and a democratic great power is fundamentally in America’s national interest. I look forward to working with Mr Modi and his government to revitalise and expand the immense promise of the US—India strategic partnership.”
Meanwhile, the popular Time magazine also lauded Modi on his spectacular win in the elections.
“Narendra Modi won India’s national elections by a virtually unprecedented parliamentary super-majority, routing the ruling Congress Party,” it said.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement on the results of the Indian election that concluded earlier this week:
“I recently spoke with Narendra Modi by phone and congratulated him and the Bharatiya Janata party for winning a majority vote in India’s Lok Sabha. This election was an extraordinary achievement for the 550 million Indians who voted over the course of six weeks in some 930,000 polling locations. I look forward to working with Mr. Modi and other members of the Indian government toward our mutual goals of peace, stability, and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. A partnership between the world’s two largest and greatest democracies is necessary for us to successfully address the many global challenges we face, including economic growth, bilateral trade, the environment, terrorism, and security.”