Build a Wall: Trump must see the Shining India, not the Seething India

Hasib Khan,

“Uff tumhaare usool, tumhaare aadarsh! Kis kaam ke hain tumhaare usool! Tumhaare saare usoolon ko goonth kar ek waqt ki roti nahiin banaee ja sakti,”(Oops your principles, your ideals! For what purpose are your principles! Even a single piece of bread cannot be made by kneading all your principles) is a famous dialogue from the film ‘Deewar’, completing 45 years this month. 

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It cannot be a coincidence that the ‘Wall’ (Deewar) is in news again – ever since Kejri-Wall’s victory and the new Rahul, KL Rahul for cricket lovers after his back to back brilliant innings. However, the major focus is on the real ‘Wall’ being built at Ahmedabad in Gujarat to make sure that Trump sees only Shining India and not the true India. When the truth is disturbing, it must be covered under the red carpet of lies for PM Modi’s friend Donald Trump, who is himself well known for his lies.

BJP, it seems, is yet to come to terms with the reality of its false propaganda of ‘Shining India’ the party had endorsed in 2004 parliamentary elections. Taking no lessons from the past, it is continuing with its legacy of half truths and fake stats, most recently, by entombing poverty behind the 600-meter-long wall near the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad to hide the truth of much-talked about Gujarat Model. I am suddenly reminded of economist Maitreesh Ghatak’s words in his interview with where he rightly remarked. “Gujarat development model is a bubble waiting to burst”. Ghatak is a Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. 

Not delving into the fake stats propagated by the BJP regarding its Gujarat Model, it is enough to say the declining social indicators must trigger the ruling government to rethink its Gujarat development model ( The foul smell of poverty behind this wall along the Motera Stadium is being suppressed to make it hygienic for Trump. Trump will pass through this colony for a few minutes, but the spirit of the people who live in this odour 24×7 will definitely be like a dialogue of the film ‘Deewar’ written at the beginning of this article. 

Trump does not get the toxic smell of the contaminated Yamuna near the Taj, so 500 cusecs of additional water is being released to mask the foul odour. But the water coating does not hide the embarrassment caused after 15 billion has been spent on the Yamuna Action Plan and 11 billion on another such project without any visible results. It is a courtesy to offer water in a clean glass to a guest visiting our houses, but it is more meaningful to give quality life to the family, rather than showing fake prosperity to strangers. The number of slum dwellers has doubled in the last three decades. According to a government survey, in 2011, 41 percent, 29 percent, 28 percent and 15 percent of the urban population lives in slums in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi respectively. An average of five people lives in these slums inside one room. This reminds me of another dialogue of the same film ‘Deewar’ – “Ye duniya ek third class ka dibba ban gaee hai… jagah bahut kam hai, musaafir zyaada” (This world has become a third-class train bogie, the space is very less, the travelers are more). There are around seven hundred acres of slums in Delhi alone and one million people live in them.

Trump recently issued a statement saying the Indian Prime Minister has promised seven to ten million people will be gathered for his welcome in Ahmedabad road show. The administration has confirmed the number as low as one lakh. For the BJP, a 100 old lies are not shameful but they are definitely ashamed of visible poverty in Gujarat – their self proclaimed development model – so a Wall is needed to hide their inadequacy in working to control real social issues like poverty, inflation, unemployment and more.

Despite widespread opposition, the wall that Trump is building in the US to prevent infiltration from the Mexico border fell into a storm. A thunderstorm at a speed of 48 km dropped it. Whether the PM has learnt lessons from the film ‘Deewar’ or not, it is fitting for Modiji to learn from the Mexico border that walls collapse, especially when they are against public sentiment or to cover up the truth.