Home » Politics » Narendra Modi equals Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump

Narendra Modi equals Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump

Opinion: Whether you support BJP or Congress, Hillary Clinton is your candidate.

By Nish Acharya

Nish-Acharya-150-x150Do you support Narendra Modi and the BJP? Then Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party is the party that best aligns with your political views in the United States. If you support the Congress Party, then Hillary Clinton is still the best choice for you.

There is a deep policy misunderstanding among the Indian American community when comparing Indian politics with American politics. Many Indian Americans, particularly from the first generation, assume that there is a direct correlation between conservative and progressive alignments in the United States and India. They make the false correlation that BJP=Republican, and Democrat=Congress Party.

But this assessment is based on faulty assumptions. Many years ago, a political commentator made the comment that the most conservative political party in the world was the U.S. Republican Party. And that the second most conservative party in the world was the U.S. Democratic Party. This is generally true. Americans, and their political parties, generally have more conservative views about the role of government in life and society than political parties in Europe or Asia. Studies have shown that the U.S. Democratic Party is more conservative than the United Kingdom’s Conservative Tory Party. So, it was no surprise a few years ago when former Advisor to President Obama Jim Messina became an advisor to David Cameron’s re-election campaign in the United Kingdom.

The same holds true with India. The official views of the Bharatiya Janata Party platform align far more closely with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. While Narendra Modi and the BJP are clearly more nationalistic and pro-Hindu than India’s Congress Party, they do not favor the elimination of India’s social safety net, nor have they taken any major steps for the wholesale disenfranchisement of minority groups in India, even though there has been an increase in tensions between ethnic groups lately. Indeed, most of Modi’s initiatives, like Make in India, the GST reform and military modernization, are all major increases in government spending and oversight. And on the American side, the Republican Party has become more conservative and populist.

As the analysis below shows, the BJP and Democratic Party align much more closely on the major issues of the day. The Republican Party is far more conservative and out of sync with India’s political parties. So whether you support BJP or Congress, Hillary Clinton is your candidate.

 

Policy Area Republican Party  Bharatiya Janata Party Democratic Party
(Obama)
 

International Trade Agreements

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Immigration

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Stricter border
security

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Not a priority

 

 

Progressive taxation by wealth

 

Oppose Support Support
 

Heavy cuts to
government

 

Support Oppose Oppose
 

National healthcare
policy

 

Oppose Support Support
 

International aid programs

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

United Nations

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Climate change

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Renewable Energy

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Death Penalty

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Same sex marriage

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Abortion rights

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Social safety net

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

Affirmative Action

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Support Israel

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Support Iran deal

 

Oppose

 

 

Support

 

 

Support

 

 

Support Pakistan

 

 

Support

 

 

Oppose

 

 

Oppose / Not a priority

 

(Nish Acharya is the author of the The India-U.S. Partnership: $1 Trillion by 2030. Acharya, who served the Obama and Clinton administrations, is also a principal at Equal Innovation, LLC, a strategy consulting and investment group working with universities, governments, foundations, and companies to assist them with innovation, entrepreneurship, and globalization strategies. He serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and the Clinton Global Initiative.)