‘Demockracy’: How Indian Media Covered the US Capitol Siege

While some drew comparisons between the situations in US and India, others blamed Trump for the violence.

Published
India
3 min read
A look at the front page of some national dailies on 8 January.
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The siege on the US Capitol building by pro-Trump supporters was received with shock and condemnation across the world. In India, many talked about Prime Minister Modi's endorsement of President Donald Trump during the campaign period and remarked on the propriety of an Indian Prime Minister supporting such a candidate. This commentary was further fuelled when videos of an Indian flag being waved outside the Capitol during the siege went viral.

Most mainstream Indian newspapers carried the siege as front page news. Some even going on to draw parallels between the situation of democracy in the US with that in India. Let's take a look at how newspapers in India covered the siege.

The Telegraph: Capitoll/Capitall

Capitoll/Capitall
Capitoll/Capitall
(Photo: Screenshot/ The Telegraph)

The Telegraph, in its usual inimitable style, drew a comparison between the riots in Capitol Hill and the farmer's protest.

"PM, they're not protestors, but thugs incited by your friend," said the front page, with a picture of the US riots, making a commentary on Modi's support for Trump.

The adjacent picture was that of the farmer's protest. "PM, they're not unlawful protestors but proud farmers you let down," said the caption accompanying the photo.

The Indian Express: Trump's Demockracy

The Indian Express: Trump's Demockracy
The Indian Express: Trump's Demockracy
(Photo: Screenshot/The Indian Express)

The Indian Express called the episode a mockery with a wordplay on "democracy", changed to de'mock'racy.

The front page of the paper detailed the riots at Capitol Hill, going on to label the rioters as ‘extremists’. The paper also reported on Biden's confirmation as president-elect by the US Congress and specifically mentioned that the mobs were incited by Trump.

The Times Of India: Coup Klux Klan

The Times Of India: Coup Klux Klan
The Times Of India: Coup Klux Klan
(Photo: Screenshot The Times of India)

The Times Of India likened the siege to the activities of white supremacist group, The Ku Klux Klan, with a 'Coup Klux Klan' wordplay.

The paper held Trump responsible for inciting the violence, reported on Facebook and other social media platforms' restrictions of Trump's profiles and also Biden's certification by Congress. However, it steered clear of drawing any comparisons between the situation in the US and India, and did not mention PM Modi in the front page either.

The Hindustan Times: Ignited State of America

The Hindustan Times: Ignited State of America
The Hindustan Times: Ignited State of America
(Photo: Screenshot/The Hindustan Times)

The Hindustan Times (HT), too, made a scathing commentary on the state of democracy in the US, detailing the siege and also holding President Trump responsible for the same.

However, HT too, stayed away from drawing parallels between US and India or making a commentary on PM Modi's support of Trump.

The Hindu: Biden Win Confirmed amid Pro-Trump Mob Attack

The Hindu: Biden Win Confirmed Amid Pro-Trump Mob Attack
The Hindu: Biden Win Confirmed Amid Pro-Trump Mob Attack
(Photo: Screenshot/The Hindu)

Compared to the other mainstream papers, The Hindu, decided to be more straightforward and non-gimmicky with its front-page headline. While clearly labelling the violence as ‘pro-Trump, the paper reported on Biden's confirmation and the actions of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on Trump's profile.

The front page also had a small side-strip on PM Modi's condemnation of the violence, wherein he called the siege ‘unlawful’.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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