In an early morning tweet, Modi expressed distress at the rioting and violence by Donald Trump’s supporters and said the democratic process could not be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests. “The orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue,” he tweeted.
Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must con… https://t.co/e9kXSPD909
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1609987119000
The statement marked a reversal of the historical pattern where India had for long been at the receiving end of individual US lawmakers and certain bodies over alleged erosion of its democracy. This also fully untangled the Indian government from the outgoing US president. Although Modi was among the first to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the November polls, the public denunciation of protests incited by Trump can help with smooth launch of business with the new US administration.
Significantly, the tweet came amid indications of efforts by anti-India groups to incite progressives and democracy evangelists among Biden’s fellow Democrats to corner India on a range of issues.
Some leaders singled out Trump for harsh criticism.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel placed the blame squarely on Trump. “I deeply regret that since November, President Trump has not accepted that he lost. He stoked uncertainties… and that created an atmosphere that made the events of last night possible.”
Her foreign minister Heiko Maas was much more direct. “From inflammatory words come violent actions — on the steps of the Reichstag and now in the Capitol,” he said in what appeared to be a reference to the 1933 Reichstag fire that was used by the Nazis to seize power in Germany.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Capitol chaos “shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is”. “We saw that unfortunately the ground is fertile for populism, despite the advances in science and industry,” he said in a speech broadcast by state television.
Among other adversaries, China compared the violence to protests in Hong Kong. Its foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “We also wish that US people can enjoy peace, stability and security as soon as possible.”
Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs panel of the Russian upper house, said: “The celebration of democracy is over. This is, alas, actually the bottom, I say this without a hint of gloating. America is no longer charting the course, and therefore has lost all its rights to set it. And especially to impose it on others.”