By some co-incidence, I saw the two most discussed TV events in The united states on the same day. On Friday morning, a couple of hours after it had taken place, I watched the last Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And that evening I watched the second one Borat film on a streaming service.
I suppose you realize what the Borat film is. Whether you don’t, here’s a brief rundown. Sacha Baron Cohen is a British comic who has focused lately on showing us the seamy underbelly of American political life. His character Borat claims to be a TV journalist from Kazakhstan and routinely traps Americans (and their politicians) into exposing the bigoted sides of their personalities.
In the current film, a sequel to the first Borat picture, one scene has attracted the most attention. Baron’s fifteen-year-old-daughter in the movie (played by a European actress in her 20’s), comes to a decision to offer herself to Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and near ally.
She calls Giuliani to a hotel suite for a TV interview and then, when the interview is over, asks him to shift to the bedroom for a drink. Giuliani does not find this request atypical and enthusiastically complies, reclines on the bed as she removes his recording equipment. Then comes the controversial bit. Giuliani puts his hand within his trousers and seems to be manipulating something. It has been suggested that he’s playing with, or no less than, touching himself, maybe because he’s excited to be mendacity in a bed watching a pretty young girl.
Giuliani has denied this interpretation and claims that he was once merely tucking his shirt into his trousers, having removed a microphone. I saw the shot and frankly, both interpretations seem to me to be believable. And finally, we never get a chance to find out what Giuliani’s intentions are because Cohen busts into the room before events can move forward. Cohen’s response to Giuliani’s explanation is that, finally, it shows dodgy judgment for Giuliani to have rushed into the young woman’s bedroom and reclined on the bed.
I won’t make any judgment but the episode seems to fit into the trail of sleaze that has followed Trump around lately: he has famously bragged approximately grabbing women by the genitals, has been revealed to have paid off a porn star (who says she spanked his bare at the back of with a rolled up magazine) and lots of of his associates (including those who occupied high positions in his White House) are either in prison or out on bail.
My other visit to the world of Trump had come earlier in the day when I watched the debate. I’m really not an American and don’t necessarily understand the concerns of American voters so I will’t say which candidate did better though it did seem to me that the debate would change few minds. Those who liked Trump would be pleased by his performance while Biden supporters would think their man had won.
What intrigued me though was once Trump’s use of the world ‘filthy’ to describe India. (The exact quote is, “Look at India.It’s filthy. The air is filthy.”) You want to argue, in Trump’s defence, that this was once a mere observation of fact. But it is advisable also conclude that it was once an ugly object to say approximately a friendly country. The united states has one of the most world’s highest homicide rates but I will’t consider an Indian Prime Minister ever referring to “murderous The united states” or “the bloody roads of The united states”. That too would be a observation of fact but not one of these object friends say approximately every other. And finally, is Trump a friend of India? We may get the impression that he’s because our government has from time to time crossed the line into American domestic politics to pander to him. (The Howdy Modi rally, as an example, may have gone too far.) But it is tough to argue that he has done more for India than say, George W Bush, who fought for the nuclear deal or even Barack Obama who welcomed Narendra Modi into the community of world leaders, even appearing on a Mann Ki Baat with him.
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Certainly PIOs living in the United States don’t have much affection for Trump. Polls propose that something like 70 per cent of them will vote for his opponent. And yet, among a small but loud minority of NRIs and PIOs, there’s a fixed attempt on social media to spice up Trump’s prospects and to even run down Kamala Haris, the only politician of part-Indian origin to have got so far in US politics without playing down her Indian heritage.
What accounts for those loud expressions of enhance for Trump? I have never been in a position to fully work it out. Four years ago, when the Trump-Hillary battle was once raging, I did a TV programme trying to determine why Trump was once so popular with a sure more or less Indian. Some of it was once Hillary-hatred. (Reasonable enough. I used to be never a great fan of her’s either though hatred is putting it too strongly.) But numerous it went beyond all bounds of rationality.
There were sangh parivar-types who even celebrated Trump’s birthday and others who passionately supported his candidacy. The harder I looked to take a look at and find what it was once that drew them to Trump, only one answer suggested itself. They liked Trump because he had called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
That anti-Muslim feeling struck many of Trump’s Indian fans as being their sort of object. Hence the birthday cakes and the loud expressions of enhance. To be reasonable, maybe some of his Indian fans believed that this sentiment would translate into a pro-India and anti-Pakistan foreign policy. Actually, continuity in US foreign policy has been maintained and it is tough to see how Pakistan has missing out as a result of Trump.
Nor does his alleged anti-Muslim sentiment seem to influence policy in the remainder of the world. America continues to be friends with much of the Islamic world (the Saudis, as an example, have Trump in their pocket) and the President is happy to visit Muslim countries. As for his concern approximately India’s border disputes, John Bolton, Trump’s former National Security Advisor writes that Trump did not realize that India had a border with China.
In a few weeks we will be able to understand how this ends. After the upset ends up in the final election, most American commentators are hesitant to make any predictions approximately this race. But most polls propose that Trump will lose.
Must that happen, South Block should do a little hasty backtracking as will sections of the Indian political establishment. And his loudest supporters here on social media should come to the inescapable conclusion that when you love someone only because he uses anti-Muslim rhetoric , that doesn’t get you very far in foreign policy terms.
Like Giuliani in the Borat movie, many of Trump’s Indian fans will be left adjusting their trousers. (Or no less than, that’s what they are going to claim they were doing.)
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