On Tuesday, a host of liberal Twitterati which loves to see PM Narendra Modi with egg on his face lost its collective marbles – in joy mind you – when they thought the Modi government had allegedly buckled to Uncle Sam’s pressure and allowed the export of hydroxychloroquine after Trump threatened ‘retaliation’.
A host of individuals including top Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor – not to mention the literati on Twitter – got super excited about Trump’s retaliation and Modi supposedly buckling to pressure.
Some even got misty-eyed about the time when Indira Gandhi showed Richard Nixon his place.
The CPI(M) known for its love for Uncle Sam slammed Modi’s ‘capitulation’ to ‘brazen blackmail’. This came despite the fact that India was already engaged in a discussion on HCQ supply after Trump and Modi’s speech.
For starters, Trump’s retaliation comment came after a reported asked him questions. But more on that later.
Secondly, as explained by the Print editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta, among others, the outrage is misplaced if one accepts the true chronology of events.
Here’s the dateline:
April 4 – Trump calls Modi, say he has request Modi for HCQ that Uncle Sam had ‘ordered’, and admitted that India also needs a lot.
April 5 – Roughly 4 AM IST Trump says he had another conversation with Modi and India will likely release the required HCQ and makes the retaliation comment.
Read the transcript:
Trump said: “I don’t like that decision. I didn’t hear that that was his decision. I know that he stopped it for other countries. I spoke to him yesterday. We had a very good talk and we’ll see whether or not that is. I would be surprised if he would because India does very well with the United States. For many years they’ve been taken advantage of the United States on trade. So I would be surprised if that were his decision. He’d have to tell me that. I spoke to him Sunday morning, called him, and I said, we’d appreciate your allowing our supply to come out. If he doesn’t allow it to come out, that would be okay. But of course there may be retaliation. Why wouldn’t there be? Yeah.”
Now here’s the real problem. Even before Trump’s statement, several reports had already pointed out that India had agreed to lift the ban.
But as the old saying goes, a lie can travel halfway across the world even before the truth can get its boot on. Now with Twitter, the lie doesn’t even need to leave its house during quarantine.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)