US election 2016: Indians’ verdict on Donald Trump’s Hindi

Screen grab of Mr Trump's videoImage copyright
Shalabh Kumar

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has spoken a few words of Hindi in a video aimed at wooing Indian-American voters.

He is appropriating Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popular campaign slogan “Abki bar Modi sarkar” (“This time Modi government”).

The video was made to air on Indian TV channels in the US, Buzzfeed quoted Shalabh Kumar, a member of Trump’s Indian-American Advisory Committee, as saying. Mr Kumar supports Mr Trump and says he made the video with him to appeal to Hindi speakers.

However, if the reaction of Indians in Delhi is anything to go by, Mr Trump still has some work to do.

As the BBC’s Vikas Pandey found out in a quick survey on the streets of the Indian capital, no one was very impressed by the video.

‘India is not just Hindus, Mr Trump’

Image caption

Shailesh Yadav believes that Mr Trump will not be a friend of India

Shailesh Yadav said he felt disgusted after watching the video because “Mr Trump seemed to be addressing only Hindus through the video”.

“How could he just assume that Hindus means India? We are a plural country, Mr Trump. Muslims, Sikhs and Christians also live in this country.” he said.

Mr Yadav added that he was hoping that “Americans will be smart enough to not vote this guy into power”.

‘Not a friend of India’

Law student Aparimita Pratap’s reaction after watching the video was that Mr Trump “has already lost the election and no video is going to save him”.

“He can’t win in a million years. If he thinks that just speaking a few words in Hindi will get him the votes of Indian-Americans or win him fans here [in India], he is so horribly wrong,” she said.

“He just has the support of some Indian-American business families and he thinks whole of India loves him. But then I can’t blame him: he is the living embodiment of ignorance.”

Image caption

Raymon Singh, left, and Aparimita Pratap, right, are law students

Her friend Raymon Singh agrees and just laughs after I show her the video.

“This is so funny. He seems to have rehearsed the slogan many times, but he still didn’t sound convincing,” she said.

“Are you sure this is not some spoof video?” she asked.

“If this is a real video, then it just proves that he is a man of contradictions. He first berates immigrants and then tries to woo Indian-Americans,” she said.

“He is not a friend of India – he is nobody’s friend. Just look at his regressive views about women. I feel disgusted as a woman listening to his comments.”

‘He can’t be trusted’

Image caption

Kriti Kakkar believes Mr Trump will not win

Student Kriti Kakkar was so amused she watched the video a few times over.

“I thought the US was a developed country, but after seeing this man come this far, I am having serious doubts,” she said.

“How could they not know him? I have followed him since he used to host The Apprentice on television. He was so rude even then.”

She added that India “cannot trust him”.

“He is saying nice things about India because he wants votes. But he can’t be trusted to honour his promises,” she said.

Not the right person’

Image caption

Hitesh Yadav earlier thought that Mr Trump was going to win

Hitesh Yadav, a management professional, said he wasn’t surprised by the video.

“He will say and do anything to win votes at the moment. I honestly thought he was going to win two months ago, but now his comments about women and minorities have shown his true face to the world,” he said.

“If he wins, the world will become more unsafe, including India. He will try to shut down call centres in India,” he said.

“He is not the right person for the job.”

‘Not a good sign for the US’

Image caption

Designer Anand Bhushan believes that Mr Trump won’t protect the minorities if he wins

Designer Anand Bhushan said Mr Trump “appears to be trying to cash in on the victory of the Hindu nationalist BJP party in 2014 in India”.

“And he may end up getting some votes of the Hindu Indian-American community. But that’s not a good sign for the US,” he said.

“Just look what’s happening in India. We have seen so many cases of intolerance against minorities in India since 2014. Mr Trump is heading in the same direction,” he said.

US election 2016: Indians’ verdict on Donald Trump’s Hindi}

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