Hari Sharma Memorial Lecture 2017
Trump, Modi and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism
September 8, 2017
6.30 PM -8. 30 PM
Room 1800 SFU Harbor Centre
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Despite the vast differences in the trajectories of their rise to power Donald Trump and Narendra Modi share some significant similarities. They both speak to and in the name of a “people” they identify with the nation, promise economic transformation addressing the grievances of the middle class in one case and the aspirations of the upwardly mobile in the other, and unify and radicalize their base by scapegoating immigrants and Muslims in the US and Muslims and Christians in India.
While both Trump and Modi attack the traditions and institutions of liberal democracy, Trump has empowered the forces of racism and white supremacy and Modi has supercharged the forces of Hindu nationalism with deadly effect.
Appealing to the Indian people with the promise of prosperity through neoliberal development and a Hindu revivalist state, the Modi government has unleashed violence against all who stand in the way of its agenda The nation is the battle cry: the military and the cow are the holy of holies, in the name of which people can be killed and criticism silenced.
David Barsamian is a tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists who has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 32th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His forthcoming books are with Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media, the economic crisis and global rebellions.
Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. He was deported from India on account of his work on Kashmir and other revolts and is still barred from traveling there.