Supporters of Donald Trump in the United States are flabbergasted at his praise for India. ‘The reason I love Trump is because he hates so many people — Mexicans, Chinese, Blacks, women,’ said a diehard fan from the Deep South, adding he would have to re-think his support now. ‘Where’s the petty-minded rancour, the ill-will, the intolerance of anything remotely foreign? This is not the obnoxious loudmouth we love,’ wailed a Trump bhakt.
‘Trump has let us down badly,’ said a fiery couch potato from Oklahoma who had tuned in to the CNN interview, hoping to hear a racist diatribe. ‘I wanted him to fulminate against another religion, you know, like Buddhism or something, so when he mentioned India, I thought maybe he would rant and rave against one of their religions, they have people who call themselves Janes there and there was this girl called Patel whom I dated who said she was Jane, she was a regular plain Jane let me tell you and yet she ditched me so I totally hate Janes. So when Trump says India is doing good I felt really sick, I mean, what’s the whole point of voting for a chap who says nice things about other people, I might as well vote for a commie like Bernie Sanders, eh?’
A more coherent hater from the Mid-West said he was shocked his idol was praising people who not only took American jobs but were also brown. ‘I’ll have to look for a more rabid hate-spewer now,’ he lamented. Other Republican presidential candidates have been quick to barge in on the opportunity. ‘Trust me, unlike Trump, I think India’s growth numbers are completely made up, they aren’t doing well at all,’ said one of them. Another said whether India is doing great or not is beside the point, what mattered was he disliked Indians, ‘unlike Indian-lover Trump.’ A candidate whose name no one knew said Trump’s comments on India showed that beneath that foul-mouthed exterior, he was ‘actually a softie, in fact a little girlie’. ‘With floppy hair,’ he added.
In India, however, Trump’s comments have had a rapturous welcome. ‘Take that, all you pseudo-seculars, even a beef-eater says we’re doing just great,’ said a pro-Trump pseudo-nationalist Indian waiting for his visa. A traditionalist lady opposing the entry of women into temples said she just lapped up all that Trump had to say. ‘For instance,’ she said, ‘he had retweeted that “If Hillary can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?”’ ‘That is such a wonderful thing to say to a woman,’ she added. A building contractor said he had a lot of respect for Trump’s building. ‘We should build a wall around Bangladesh, just as Trump wants a wall around Mexico,’ he said.
‘If the US doesn’t elect Trump, he should come to India and become our president,’ said a local bigot. He predicted, ‘With his fantastic ability to flaunt his prejudices, his narrow-mindedness, his contempt for minorities, his jingoism, his wealth and his hair, he’ll be a great inspiration for many of our political leaders.’
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint . The views expressed are personal.