There are many parallels between India’s 2014 general elections and America’s presidential election in 2016. There are obvious comparisons between Trump and Prime Minister Modi, which are perhaps a little uncomfortable for many people. However Modi campaign wasn’t great from the start. What perhaps tipped the campaign was a vagrant quote from Mani Shankar Aiyyar, the congress spokesperson who suggested
“A chaiwalah (tea seller), can never become the prime minister of India”.
Of course, Modi campaign jumped on to this comment with a gusto of a cat that found a canary. This was exactly the kind of elitist comment they were looking for. They turned the rest of campaign around the ‘Chaiwalah’ theme, and even hosted public gatherings around tea-shops. Modi completely owned the moniker of being a Chaiwalah, and gained favor of those who did not believe in him previously. The rest as they say, is history.
Now, Hilary Clinton in a bid to aggressively pitch herself, has gone ahead and called all the Trump supporters as ‘basket of deplorables’. Yet another elitist notion which has been unsurprisingly lapped up by Trump. The damage has been done. Akin to Modi’s chai-theme, a hashtag of #basketofdeplorables and handle @thedeplorables have appeared to make this gaffe from Clinton immortal.
So the question is, will this go any differently than the 2014 general elections in India?