The American Cry Babies 

The global appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has caused a lot of heartburn in the USA, especially after his three-day successful visit in June 2023. A few iconic pictures of the visit are likely to add to the folklore of rich Indian history and culture that will inspire Indian Generation Z and Alpha to emulate him and take India to greater heights.

The first picture is that of Prime Minister Modi standing motionless and braving the rain while the National Anthem of both India and America were played when he landed in Washington DC on 22 June.

This image has gone well with millions of Indians and others who watched his US visit. This was a remarkable display of respect and patriotism for both the countries. Not to be left behind, members of the Indian diaspora responded in equal measure and greeted him all along with performances of “garba dance” and Indian flag waiving when the rain was lashing the streets of Washington DC. As expected Modi’s detractors dismissed these as photo-ops and stage-managed events.

The other picture that will remain etched in people’s memory for a very long time is the number of standing ovations Narendra Modi got when he addressed the Joint session of the US Congress. Later, several of the Congressmen surrounded the Prime Minister for his autograph amidst the chants of “Modi Modi”. Then came the icing on the cake when American singer Mary Millben touched the feet of the Prime Minister and sought his blessing after singing India’s national anthem Jana Gana Mana at the concluding event of the official State visit. Earlier, in an exemplary gesture of respect, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape also touched the feet of PM Narendra Modi when he visited the island nation. Can such gestures be stage-managed? I don’t think so; this was a show of his popularity and respect for Indian culture which is reflected in Modi’s persona.

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Then came the first crybaby, former President Barak Obama who blabbered in a scripted interview with CNN, “If President (Joe Biden) meets with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, the protection of Muslim minority in a majority Hindu India is something worth mentioning”. The cat came out of the bag when he added, “if India does not protect the rights of “ethnic minorities”, there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart” This is a very provoking statement that came from the former POTUS who is nurturing a hidden desire to see India disintegrate.

And look at the track record of Obama exposed thoroughly by BJP ministers. The former POTUS was responsible for bombing so many Muslim countries killing tens of thousands of innocent people, conveniently calling them collateral damage; lo and behold he earned his Nobel Peace Prize for his performance. Ironically, such a person wants to give sermons to Narendra Modi under whose watch communal riots in India have stopped since 2014, barring a few local incidences by vested interests. He is often blamed for the Godhra riots even after the Supreme Court of India gave a clean chit to him. It was barely five months after Modi took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat as his first assignment in October 2001 when Godhra happened in February 2002. It is over twenty years now that the annual ritual of communal riots involving peaceful minorities, especially in Ahmedabad, Gujarat has completely stopped.

The political parties that ruled the country and different states practicing Minority appeasement policies build narratives of intolerance based on a few local instances, very often stoked by vested interest to capture power. These narratives are also propagated offshore where Indian-born foreign journalists pounce on such narratives to embarrass India and then act like crybabies when they are given back their same coin.

India need not respond to such crybabies from the wide spectrum of US strata, like the POTUS to foreign media houses, journalists, and anti-India lobbies. Ignoring them would be the best policy because engaging them will enhance their image and importance. (The author is renowned seismologist and former Chief Scientist at NGRI)