Narendra Modi and Donald Trump | Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Narendra Modi and Donald Trump | Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg
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With bated breath we await sunrise in Washington DC to see what President Donald Trump will do next. Will he double down on his claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir? Will he be enraged that the Ministry of External Affairs has tagged him and effectively said he lied, and then repeated it in Parliament today?

Let’s be clear about two things: first, this will blow over until the next storm in a tea cup; and second, no country – except Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar – has found reliable ways to deal with Trump. Let us be equally clear that Modi has never asked Trump or any external interloper to interfere in bilateral matters. Modi is a stickler for rules and follows the brief his bureaucrats prepare for him to the T. Trump is no one’s fool, although the Democrats would like you to believe that. Assuming that Trump is a fool is the biggest mistake one can make, something the Democrats don’t seem to understand even after their rout in the 2016 US presidential election.

That said, there is no doubt Trump is lying (no, he didn’t misunderstand what Modi may or may not have told him; he is deliberately lying). The question is why? We should be worrying not about ‘what’ he said (as Indians are at the moment), but ‘why’ he said it. The ‘what’ is not important, the ‘why’ is critical. I have discussed the more macro reasons here, but what we need to do now is understand how this episode will play out.

Let us be clear, the Indian economy is in doldrums, and the standard Indian practice has been to play ostrich at home, and the perpetually-petulant-victim abroad. In effect, our failure at domestic policy leaves our diplomats with few choices – none of them viable. But what is inexcusable is that they have either failed to read the signs in advance or haven’t been heard at the top.


Also read: After trade war, Trump wants to punish India for Russian defence purchases


Since Barack Obama’s second term (2012-16), the signs of India fatigue have only been growing, be it on patents, or a host of other issues. Trump has simply distilled that fatigue and accelerated its effects. To start with, he refused to come to India for the Republic Day celebrations citing  “scheduling constraints”. That he took a month to decline the invitation should make it clear that there were no prior commitments, just higher priorities.

He has travelled to Saudi Arabia and executed a remarkable about-turn of his Saudi hate. The Saudis had to sign an agreement for US$110 billion in immediate weapons purchases with a total of US$350 billion committed over 10 years. Trump then shifted his attack to Qatar, calling it “a funder of terrorism at a very high level”. The Qataris had to buy their way out, agreeing to spend billions of dollars within months, be it in weapons purchases or oil refining. The three incidents – turning down India’s invitation, travelling to Saudi Arabia, and training and then un-training his guns on Qatar – should have flashed warning signs to India.

Yet, what did India do? It had Ivanka Trump speak at a leadership conference. The fact that India thinks it can buy off a president with intangible platitudes says a lot about how badly our assessment has gone wrong. And yet, we still fail to learn the lessons. The initial 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers was ostensibly postponed, again due to prior commitments. It pretty much forced India to sign up for COMCASA and LEMOA in order to get the 2+2 going. But there again, these foundational agreements haven’t translated into any tangible gain for the US. This is why we  had Trump tweet about tariffs once more (he initially raised India’s duties on Harley-Davidson in his 2017 State of the Union speech).

Meanwhile, Trump saw the highly hostile statements on Kashmir, clearly sanctioned from the very top, emanating from Moscow. Former Russian Ambassador to India, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, a confidante of Russia’s Afghanistan point person Zamir Kabulov, had said, “the solution to Afghanistan lies in Kashmir“. Far from any backlash, India proceeded to give Russia close to US$9 billion worth of arms deals for the S-400 and second Akula class submarine. Contrast this with Pakistan. Pakistan can offer Trump minor tangibles in Afghanistan, which have a disproportionate political effect back in the US (Pakistan understands this well). Pakistan has Trump in a monopsony situation by being the only supply route, with Russia and Iran having been alienated.


Also read: Trump’s vanity makes PM Modi look stronger — and gives him a chance to fix economy at home


What was all this meant to signal to Trump? Tweet on tariffs, you won’t get anything; we’ll keep throwing sweet nothings your and Ivanka’s way. But attack us on core interests like Kashmir as Trubnikov did, actively undermine Indian interests as Kabulov had, and you would get US$9 billion. Trump clearly internalised this message. In the end, there is no conclusion other than that India has brought this upon itself. It should have read the warning signs, it didn’t. There should be no doubt that Trump has done this to extract a price. How steep that price will be, shall be determined by what Trump believes: the reality of the Indian economy or Modi’s hype. In the end, Modi may very well end up becoming a victim of his own successful marketing campaign.

The author is a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. He tweets @iyervval. Views are personal.

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56 Comments Share Your Views

56 COMMENTS

  1. Author’s assessment is partially right. Trump is no fool and Modi clearly didn’t ask him to mediate. Now if Trump is lying to get some sort of defense deal like he is living in a fool’s paradise. USA is not Russia and Russia never Undermine India’s interest.

  2. How did the author knew that Trump lied? Was he present at all meetings between Trump and Modi? Why can’t it be another misguided attempt by Modi to cosy up to Trump like he earlier did by inviting Trump as chief guest for Republic Day and got rebuffed? Also, Democrats were not routed in 2016 elections. They won less seats despite winning the popular vote. So Mr. Iyer-Mitra either has his facts wrong or his English wrong or both. The views of such a person are not worth reading.

  3. The author seems to be somewhat mistaken in concluding that Modi may be trapped in a Web of his own making. In fact, Trump could be using all dirty tricks up his sleeps to have a smooth sailing during the forthcoming US Presidential elections. If he is able to honourably bring back the US soldiers from the war torn Afghanistan, with the pro-active cooperation of Pakistan, he could be greatly benefitted at the said polls? However, all depends on how the Indian PM Narendra Modi reacts, if at all, to Trump’s latest political salvo that could also be aimed at safguarding his own political future in his own country

  4. Idiotic article and have facts and distance. May be the author has been paid to paint such a negative image of India. Whether US need India or not we don’t need US. If only India, China and Russia come together US is no match.

  5. India is neither Saudi Arabia nor Qatar. Even if Russian point man says that solution for Afghanistan lies in Kashmir is ridiculous. Nobody bothers for a mid level Diplomat Views. In any case, what can Russia do about it?Trump can not annoy India too much as American view China as a threat but not India

  6. Such a substandard English. Have you even read THE HINDU once in your life. Thanks to google for giving me the option to block the news source from popping up in my feed. I’ll block the print.

    You and your cheap English and imaginary thought sucks.
    Kindergarden types analysis

  7. India has to realise that sooner or later,it will have to resolve outstanding issue of Kashmir with Pakistan,earlier the better

  8. The author incorrectly and absurdly presumes many things in the article One thing I completely agree is our economy is in complete shambles. The blame lays directly on the door of the present government. They are very much able to hide this from the general populace by effective information warfare. I guess India has long lost high growth opportunity. what else explains the majority of Indians are not able to live a good life and nobody gives damn about it. India should have invested heavily in education and human resource. Great Civilisations are built on the strong foundations of the technology.
    we are good at basking in our ancient glory. but we haven’t done any fundamental industrial invention. The Chinese are leading now in artificial intelligence and communication technology. The future factories will be fully automated, no more manufacturing jobs. If India has to stay relevant we must invest in future technologies. which I think will never happen if we keep doing things in the same fashion. I think we are in ICU now and future is slipping away from our hand and it is a shame if we remain a developing country for another 50 years.

    Blaming past government or parties for present failure is a language of losers. I hope they listen to independent voices and be open to criticism and admit they lack intellectual heft require to march India ahead in 21st century.

  9. Author says” Trump is no fool” Well who is? The author? Trump also says he doesn’t lie. QED, So modi must have said it!! Now, the bureaucrats are back tracking!

    • Trump’s remarked is like that of a pessimist opposition party leader of our countrytrue or false the prime minister must clarify the truth.behind it,as most of Trump’s remarks are like that of a www wrestling contractor or wrestlers like undertaker,triplex, Kane, Steve Austin,rock Johnson, Henry ,Kali,etc.who make.some stage appearences.& don’t know what’s they say.

  10. What an obsession. Trump’s sin, rather all sins on this earth , have roots in Modi.This partisan attitude and unabashed bias and hate makes valid points, if any, also unnoticed and less creditworthy.

  11. I fully agree with the comments. The day USA showed indifference to Imran’s arrival I saw red flags. We are foolish and started howling like howler monkeys. Idiotic.
    We have to show our teeth (if we have any) very privately. nd show them that the cost-benefit ratio of feeding snakes in the backyard can be very negative. I am sure that Modi will know what to do with Jaishankar as the FM. If not, we are SUNK

  12. Why is everyone crying lie lie? POTUS simply said ‘if” requested by India and Pak, he never said India requested him!!

  13. Human rights violations on a very large scale? Whatever happened to the Kashmiri Pandits? Not killings and ethnic cleansing? This was in perfect accordance with human rights norms?
    When Kashmiri Pandits are themselves fearful of going back to Kashmir, due to the very same defenders of human rights in the Valley, why concoct the spectre of rich Hindus from rest of India disturbing the demography of Kashmir? Incidentally it is worth noting that Farooq Abdullah settled 20000 Rohingya Muslim families in Jammu and Ladakh, near army camps and not in Kashmir. Innocent action? To say that kashmiris are living in mortal fear is a wild exaggeration.

  14. The author lacks understanding of US politics. Irrespective of president in office from either party, the global aims of US are the same and to that end, it has repeatedly been self-centered in promoting or undermining agreements and understandings. It has over last forty plus years funded Pakistani terrorism to achieve its aims and chosen to pretend not to know the larger muslim terrorism even against US itself and elsewhere. There are no diplomats conducting nation’s affairs. They can’t do that really with a straight face. India must remember when managing its own needs and interests that its own fate lies with “Nations have no permanent friends or permanent enemies: nations have only permanents interests.”

  15. Saudi and Qatar cannot be compared with India. They need America and they follow the dictates of America. Post Nehru-Indira-Rajiv regime, India never depended solely on Russia, even it did not align with US like Pakistan did. As India need support of US, US also cannot ignore India given their strategic business interests. Given the way India has grown to be top 5 economies in the world, India cannot be taken for granted. The author’s figment of imagination is poorly visible in this write. It is more of words and less of substance. Right now Modi is silent, our MEA has done a clear rebuttal confirmed by US administration and US is on damage control exercise.

  16. Such a sub-standard article! I remember this guy defending Modi at all cost during Rafale fiasco. He still couldn’t answer why 36 jets instead of 126, and why the price was tripled. Now, he is trying to defend two fools here!

  17. This article seems like an over analysis of the situation. The simplest explanation is that Trump lied. It’s nothing new. He does it all the time. He is the most ignorant POTUS in history of America. Because he wants his troops out of Afghanistan at any cost, this is just his way to butter up Pakistan and nothing more should be read into it.

  18. Hahaha….. What to comment….?? The author himself has not replied to any of the comments so far.. This shows how cooked his thought is …

  19. Yes, it’s true Trump extracts his pound of flesh, however clumsy or rude it may sound or look. Yes, US needs Pakistan more than they need India in the short term. In the long run, India is the bulwark against China, especially in a decade or so Saudies and Pak would be entirely on China’s lap. Russia and US can utter all they want, no one can force India into anything on Kashmir. India should do two things on Kashmir, stop looking for US to pressurize and start working on a constitutional solution, even if it is unfair to the valley or might skirt UN resolution. With Kashmir out of the way in 3-5 years we use our leverage (aka Market) unburdened.

    • One more point. If the current peace process under way in Afghanistan, succeeds Pakistan is likely to have influence in the future administration of that country (it will invariably end up in a mess is another story). In such a scenario, last thing US wants is a Pakistan that has some stake in Kashmir. The old rich land lord, knows fully well the lady is beginning to hook up with next rich customer.

  20. Iyer cooked up story looks to drag narrative onto a sides not to the point .why? Bcoz of Contra views and opposing points . When he is sure Trump is lying on mediation how can modi plan on marketing country fall flat ?
    Second America needs India more now on global stage, than India needs America…. Soon Trump will realize it.

    India did not bowed down to America like Pakistan,which Trump is expecting.

    Modi is no fool. Indians are no more naive. (to the views of some cook called Iyer)

  21. A far fetched theory, not convincing at all. Trump may a fool or may be a smart fellow. Making statements on Kashmir will prove to be totally non productive. No matter what, Trump or for that matter anyone else says or does, for India Kashmir is non-negotiable. Since he is President of US till 2020, he will be tolerated. However, there is no guarantee of his re-election for a second term in 2020.

    • Trump is not a fool – he is a master manipulator. Everything he does is designed to drive a certain outcome. Yes, there is no guarantee of his reelection – but the odds are heavily in his favor.

  22. The author is hugely carried away by his wild imagination totally biased toward America. However throughout trump only looked desperate and was fighting a lost war. Indian defence purchase eluded US on multiple front and on the other hand India had retaliated trade sanctions with increased tariffs. Now India is partially alligning with China which is further jolt to US. A little shrewd planning and patience will bend US further.

  23. Abhibit’s analysis is way off the mark, to say the least. (No wonder he was incarcerated in Orissa for writing something way off the mark with Supreme Court asking him to enjoy his stay in jail!). Agreed that Trump is no fool but we are making too much of what Trump said. US ( as well as other countries like Russia, China etc) badly needs Pak to deliver on Afghanistan. Trump has re-election next year and he can do anything to please Pak to get out of Afghan quagmire.

    With that sorted out, a few things should be very clear to us. We need US to check mate China in Indian Ocean, just as we need Israel, Russia and France for their defense equipment against Pak and China (on land border). Whatever we are engaged with US is essentially on this issue- LEMOAs, NATO type ally and all that. We have multi alignment with US, Russia, China, Arab countries, Israel and Iran keeping our national interest in mind. I am sure despite such obviously stupid remarks by POTUS, we will be on course with US.

    In fact, Modi must hug him tightly every time he meets him and jokingly tell him (though he is sure to take it seriously) to solve Kashmir issue once and for all by delivering POK to India with a promise to allow forever duty free import of Harley Davidson bikes. As a bonus, Modi can also offer him a huge tract of land free for Trump Resort and Golf Course in Swat Valley! If Trump knows his business , he will surely accept this deal!

    Comments that we favored Russia with US $9 billion orders when its diplomats spoke against Indian interest is non sense. What that remark means is that Pak is in such a strong strategic position that unless others placate Pak with its demands (such as on Kashmir), these countries can not get out of Afghanistan.

  24. America’s own economy is in doldrums. The dollar will remain the reserve currency but not without a recession first.
    In fact every country’s economy is bad. Its a global issue. Writers like these who are “motivated” by different countries to write such propaganda, are in plenty in today’s media.

    • “America’s own economy is in doldrums”?!?!? What planet do you live on? Are you on drugs? It is the largest economy in the world and since Trump has taken office, it is doing extremely well – don’t believe me – just Google it. You need to be more educated and informed and not sound so exceptionally foolish.

  25. Lol, seems to be a Hollywood thriller. Writer is unaware of the modi’s personality. He will become more stronger. Trump may not be dumb but he is definitely underestimating Indian govt . US was unable to stop even a polite ABV , he conducted nuclear tests even after threat n sections from US. Modi is far more aggressive than any other Indian politicians. See what happened today, Trump made a comment, India tagged POTUS and said you are liar, Indian opposition supported trump, modi posted picture with a kid on Instagram. So what is the core message from modi?
    1. Yes we can call US president a liar, it’s modi’s India
    2. Opposition is cheap,they don’t care for national interest. Instead of having faith in Indian govt,they are supporting US president. Even many big Congress leaders are supporting modi openly but official handle says otherwise. Crack in the opposition.
    3. By sharing pictures, he informed country I’m in parliament, meeting people, doing work but opposition is disruptive. Trump’s comment is useless and don’t need a response from him.

    So tell us who is a loser? Trump or Modi or Indian opposition?

  26. Indians still seem to carry the inferiority complex while dealing with USA. The changing relation with USA should be considered good for India as it will help India to be to protect its global interests. Trump is also giving this hint to India not to depend on USA.

  27. Iyer very much is a US tout, which is fine. We have had Russian touts who have ruined India’s economy and strategic interests for generations, beginning with Nehru, and who have embedded themselves into our defense and government power structure to this day. Hameed Ansari is a bugger boy for his mazhabi huzurs, as Owl Baba is for the ISI, along with Mamma Mia.

    So what is new? Who really pulls for Bharat Mata? Shit filth like Pragya Thakur, Giriraj Singh, and absolute idiots like Gadkari who spent his time like Pawar, enjoying cricket and crooked sugar politics?

    Modi lacks the clarity of thought and the essential moral courage to truly become the PRADHAN SEVAK he labels himself, a disciple of the REAL NARENDRA, Swami Vivekananda. Too much ego occludes his mind. He consistently fails to include within his group of advisers independent voices who would treat him as an equal and who could offer him thoughtful suggestions on the agricultural, energy, and food policy issues that are at the heart of India’s economic malaise. Without the inclusion of such outspoken experts who will never work for money, publicity or power, and who cannot be found within the ranks of the power-seekers thronging the political scene, Modi will remain perpetually compromised by a weak economy.

    Without an economy that performs at the EQUIVALENT level of 11-12% GDP growth rate per annum, SANS DISTORTIONS currently afflicting the Indian economy, Modi will be the SICK MAN of Asia: all bluster, no inner punching power. What is this 2 trillion or 5 or 1 trillion USD economy that Modi speaks of? What is his understanding of such? I should love to have a conversation on SKYPE with him and his precious PMO. He is weak, his country is impoverished. Forget the statistics. Fewer then 20% of Indians are secure in their daily lives as far as food, shelter, and basic necessities are concerned. The Indian economy can be compared to someone walking on crushed ankle bones: walking because one MUST. The world understand the fragility of our situation. I should be happy to point out the savage weak points to Modi and to the RSS bigwigs who are marvellously shrewd but devoid of any trace of intellect, especially of the beneficient kind.

    • Sounds like the leftist drivel I have heard in Bengal before. You JNU, CPM or Bhadralok by any chance? I like to have a Skype conversation with you my friend.

      At the end of the day you are what you think you are. Modi thinks aloud and even if it not true, may I ask what have you pulled for our dearest Bharat Mata in your life? If we were so weak, why does the POTUS scream his lungs out on India? The leader of the biggest economy would not give a rat’s ass about the SICK MAN of Asia, would he now?

      Maybe you are just shriveling up in the manure pot of a mind that you have because things are going SO BAD for your kind and ilk. AND LISTEN you leftist infidel, leave Swami Vivekananda out of the concoctions that your pot conjures. May your ilk drown in the melancholy of seeing a rising and prosperous India. Vande Mataram.

  28. The article is smartly written, and makes good points. And I am saying this as a Modi believer in the US. But the final conclusion is something I would like to disagree with . Trump does not really have much power in bringing India to the table with Pakistan. Further, India should make Israel, US and Russia dance in front of it for each weapons deal. Despite having a lot of money, the Saudis and Qataris don’t really come anywhere near India in moral and intellectual stature. India needs to focus on its economy, and the infrastructure story.

  29. what the americans are pissed about is that india is catching up fast in technology. what the rest the author is writing is his opinion.

  30. Quid pro quo for Pakistan pulling his Afghan chestnuts out of the fire, after seeing off the entire Western alliance in the battlefield. And with a ragtag army of part-timers! What makes anyone think he lies awake worrying about India?!

  31. Not sure if the writer is based in the US, there is that ‘we are God’ air about the article.

    Trump is definitely not God, nor is the US anywhere close to being the mai-baap of India!!

    Trump may be trying to be too clever by half but this time a line has been crossed. Specifically attributing a lie to another Head of State and inventing a conversation should evoke a very strong response from Modi, this is not about a storm in a tea cup!

    The analysis that the S400 purchase was a ‘price’ India paid for Russian position on Kashmir is ludicrous and hilarious. If the writer thinks Modi will pay a ‘price’ for Trump to not say anymore LIES is equally ludicrous and hilarious.

  32. Many people like Trump, abroad, and even within India must be of the opinion that although these two countries keep saying that it is a bilateral issue, they have been unable to solve it bilaterally. So where is the harm in a strong, well meaning mutual friend coming to the table and mediating between the two? Pakistan had foolishly thought that it will be able to arm-twist India through terror. It knows that it has failed. India under Vajpeyi had thought that buses will ply loads of goodwill between the two countries and everything will gradually become normal and pleasant. That too has failed. Narendra Modi is on a trip of his own ever since the surgical strikes. He thinks that by successfully sealing the borders to stop Pakistani terrorists from coming in, which Indian forces have almost completely done successfully, and by crushing the LOCAL resistance by force, India will be able to ward off any Pakistani stake in the region and completely OWN the territory for itself and confuse the demography of the valley by pushing in scores of rich Hindu families from other parts of the country over a period of time. This ambition of Modi has met with resentment from the Kashmiris and threatens to snowball into a movement the kind of which was never seen before – – that of trying to free that land from the dominion of India. An indirect test of the mood is single digit percentage participation of the Muslims of the valley in any elections held there during the BJP presence at the centre, in last few years. Earlier on, even under terrorist threats, this participation used to be more than 50%. Despite the boycott calls by the separatists, people did participate in the elections enthusiastically.

    So, what was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, is now threatening to become, with Pakistan effectively sealed off, a bilateral issue between India and India’s own population in the Kashmir valley. This is likely to raise human rights violations on a very large scale. And this is what any person with humanity or insaniyat in her or his heart will want to resist or protest against with all of that person’s might. Such persons can be found in foreign lands or even within India. In the name of goodness, Kashmiris should not suffer indignity or live under mortal fear as they are apparently doing now. I personally see nothing wrong if Trump or other well meaning parties step in to mediate. What is the meaning of “Vasudhev Kutumbkam” otherwise?

    • Human rights violations on a very large scale? Whatever happened to the Kashmiri Pandits? Not killings and ethnic cleansing? This was in perfect accordance with human rights norms?
      When Kashmiri Pandits are themselves fearful of going back to Kashmir, due to the very same defenders of human rights in the Valley, why concoct the spectre of rich Hindus from rest of India disturbing the demography of Kashmir? Incidentally it is worth noting that Farooq Abdullah settled 20000 Rohingya Muslim families in Jammu and Ladakh, near army camps and not in Kashmir. Innocent action? To say that kashmiris are living in mortal fear is a wild exaggeration.

      • Dear Ramchander, yes, you raise a very pertinent point – – what about Kashmiri Pandits? Even I ask the same. What, if any, were the concrete steps taken by the BJP when they were in partnership with PDP, to help them return home? Or are there any steps being taken or strategized under Modi 2.0? From my perception, the K. Pandits were hounded out by TERRORISTS who were at that time fully under the control of Pakistan, and NOT BY the KP’s next door neighbors, the ordinary Muslims of the valley.

        In what capacity did Farooq Andullah accommodated the Rohingyas is something beyond me. And if it is true, then Mehbooba Mufti should have seen in it an excellent opportunity to pounce at an enemy of the PDP. I don’t know how she let go of that opportunity. But somehow I feel that your information in this regard is not correct. Because not only MM, even the BJP partnering her in the state and ruling the roost at the Centre wouldn’t have let Farooq A play that guardian role. Problem of refugees is tackled by governments, and not by individual dogooders in different countries.

  33. Iyer has lived up to his name. During the Independence struggle they loved to lick the A$$ of the British White Pigs. Now after Independence they love the lick the a$$ of American White Pigs. The reason who ever gives them money they will do that. They dont like to stand alone at any place. This is because of their Genes. They have been historically begging and living all through their life so obviously it still continues. Pity on them. LOL

      • Agree with not identifying and blaming caste. But he has a point: it is a fact of life there are several people in Indian media on CIA pay roll.
        This particular piece is barely hiding the mask.

  34. It makes me feel that untill we develop capacity to produce cutting edge defense equipment relevant to the current context . Mauraders will try to extract, at the cost of our well being. Our R&D has to come of age and shed the eternal “catch up mode” producing world class technology Vandemataram

  35. This know-all author is plain stupid. He has allowed his imagination to run wild. इसको जेल से कौन छुड़वाया?

  36. The Democrats were not “routed” in the 2016 election. The cumulative margin of loss across the three states that determined the election was less than 100K votes. And Trump got 3M fewer votes across the US than did Hillary.

    It is best to not attribute strategy to the antics of a proven buffoon like Trump. Trump doesn’t know jack about what he talks about. Best to treat him for the blithering idiot that he is. It’ll blow over and we’ll all move on.

    • As you said, the Democrats were certainly not “routed” in the 2016 Elections.

      To add to that, the author – Abhijit Iyer-Mitra – has tweeted that Sen Ilhan Omar (D-Min) is “unelectable”,
      though she was ELECTED to the senate from Minnesota.

      He fancies himself as a supreme know-it-all and “above” who he regards as the ‘hyping hoi-polloi’ like Modi.

  37. The author is just blabbering his pro American hype.
    Let us be very clear headed. USA is the ultimate superpower of shameless hypocrisy. All the talk about champions of “freedom” “liberty” “democracy” all humbug,

    India cannot be bullied out of S400 deal since it very much suits India’s needs and no one else makes a comparable product.

    Modi is a statesman and Drumpf is a buffoon. This will fade away in a week. India handled American bully when it was much weaker, can handle it.

    • Absolutely,we weren’t scared when the cold war ended and we were alone without any support,with terrorism in both Punjab andj k,internal turmoil and economic crisis.why do we want to get trapped in this subsidiary alliance with US.the world is ours let’s take it.lets aim to be no 1 not no2.

  38. The author’s assessment is partially correct. The correct part is that Trump, very deliberately, lied about Kashmir. By doing that he may be testing waters, and expecting India to bow down, knowing well that India has twin problems in Pakistan and China. However, Pakistan is new to Trump, but dealings with America is not new to Pakistan. ISI knows the drill. Pakistan has actually nothing to offer to Trump, which he will soon realise, because he is taking a myopic view of the Pakistan-Afghanistan dynamics. Trump, being a business person, thinks everything is negotiable. If Modi just shows some patience, with restraint, and let this development take its own course, it has everything to gain. India’s strategic bottomline should be absolutely clear: expect Balakot and more if there is a terrorist attack from across the border.

  39. One point the column makes one agress with : President Trump is not a fool. Another point, of disagreement : India is not buying the S 400 system, in the face of US pressure, to mollify the Russians. It is a fine piece of military hardware, something India badly needs.

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