Donald Trump’s Victory in the US Presidential Election and What it means for India

America elected the Republican Candidate Donald Trump into power, who at an Indian-American event during a Diwali celebration in October, said: “I am a big fan of Hindu…I love Hindu.” Donald Trump now holds the most powerful position in the most powerful country, thus making him the most powerful man in the world. We will now have to slowly forget and get past the memes and jokes of Trump candidacy and let the thought that we now have to deal with him on many important issues which affect our daily lives.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
There are a few factors, which may make it hard to predict how President Trump would interact with India. This difficulty stems from the very person and character of Trump himself. How many of us would have thought that he would go ahead and beat Hillary? His victory is now one of the most unpredictable things about him. His temperament which can be a problem, where he is described as driven by his ego and displays narcissistic tendencies.

These qualities can come in the way, and may make it difficult to negotiate with when nuance, compromise, and empathy are required for diplomacy. He has never held any public office, or served in the armed forces. There is nothing in Trump’s background that indicates either that he understands public service, or engaged in any venture that does not seek profit.

The challenges facing Trump now and one that India waits to see is how he handles changing campaign promises into policies that affects an increasingly global world. By taking a campaign platform that was one of the most inward looking in recent memory, one that all times subtly invoked fear and even hatred of other races.

America voted into power a businessman and showed how angry it was with the political establishment that many of them feel left out by a system that ignores them. This anger was so intense that it doesn’t seem to leave space for them to consider the rest of the world, let alone the role of American as a world leader. Trump had promised to build a wall between US and Mexico borders which show how his supporters view the rest of the world.

India has preferred Republican presidents, but Trump is no ordinary Republican. Even though Barack Obama was a major advocate of a pivot of American trade and diplomacy towards Asia, Trump is running on an isolationist platform, which might actually benefit India much more than a Democrat president. There are many great benefits of considering Trump as a President which could include Trump’s harsh stance on China and Pakistan. China has already run a huge trade surplus over the years and Trump is likely to stem the cash flow. Trump’s domestic inclinations may also force him to bring back manufacturing jobs lost back to the US.


Even Pakistan has reasons to be apprehensive of Donald Trump. He has said in a statement that Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world and believes India needs to be involved as a check to Pakistan. A government under Trump may also be keen on cutting aid to Pakistan, which they view as hypocritical in collecting US aid and pretending to fight radical Islam.

India may have to fear Trump’s general anti-immigrant views; he has in rallies stated that other countries, including India are taking jobs which should be with the US citizen. He has also indicated that he might curb the issuing of H1-B visas, which directly affects the Indian IT sector.