How the Trump Win Played Out in South Asia – India Real Time – WSJ

As Donald Trump was winning his first states in the U.S., South Asia was getting up to follow the results.In Pakistan, Javed Hassan, a former investment banker who previously worked in London and Hong Kong, got up early, at 4 a.m. local time (6 p.m. Tuesday ET), to watch election results come in at his home in the city of Karachi. On Whatsapp, he started trading messages with his son, Ali, a 20-year-old studying economics and politics at New York University.

The younger Mr. Hassan, Ali, watching TV with friends at his dorm at NYU, started his evening telling his worried father that there was no chance of a Trump victory.

“Trump won’t get enough votes in the north and the American people will not go for his racism,” he told his father.

The elder Mr. Hassan, however, was switching between CNN and BBC coverage and was seeing “long queues of white people” waiting to vote, he said, and seeing the state-by-state projections.

By 7 a.m. Pakistan time (9 p.m. Tuesday ET), father and son started to see the trends in states like Michigan.

“What really did it was when Hillary started losing in Wisconsin,” said Mr. Hassan, 51, who now runs a non-governmental organizational that provides vocational training across Pakistan. His son, enveloped in a New York bubble, with all his friends voting for Mrs. Clinton, could not see it coming, said Mr. Hassan.

Meanwhile in India, Sagar Chordia, executive director of Panchshil Realty, a real estate firm which this year built the country’s first Trump Towers in the western city of Pune, had gotten up at 5 a.m. (6.30 p.m. Tuesday ET) to watch the results on television.

Mr. Chordia said he tracked the Twitter and Facebook updates of Donald Trump Jr., who was instrumental in signing the deal with his company.

Mr. Chordia typically leaves for the office around 9 a.m. (10.30 p.m. Tuesday ET), but on Wednesday he stayed at home in Pune, glued to the TV for another hour or so, until Mr. Trump had garnered 220 electoral votes. “Now, I know he’s the winner,” he thought at the time.

Mr. Chordia said that once he got to the office, he found his staff were happy with the result, as many of them met Mr. Trump when he visited Pune in 2014. Then, Mr. Chordia said, he and his team threw a big party for Mr. Trump, with 800 guests.

He said Mr. Trump’s election is good for India, because the president elect has traveled to the country and has praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “They really love India and they want to do more and more projects in this country,” he said of the Trumps.

In Mumbai, India, Alok Churiwala, a 48-year-old stock broker, was waiting for the benchmark stock index to open at 9.15 a.m. (10.45 p.m. Tuesday ET). Mr. Churiwala was tracking the election results on television, as well as Twitter and on his Whatsapp account.

He prepared for the market to open down, given that the Dow Jones futures were already trading lower, but he wasn’t ready for the 5% fall.“We were horrified when the markets opened,” he said.

At his morning meeting with dealers, Mr. Churiwala told his staff that clients should be kept from doing anything reckless. They were not to encourage clients to short the market, bet against it, or borrow for day trades.

As stocks swooned, he was swamped by clients calling to ask what was happening.

“Phones were ringing off the hook, because everybody was worried,” he said. “You’d think that this is apocalypse,” said Mr. Churiwala.

He skipped lunch.

He said one client who is based in the U.K. called. “What is it about Trump that is so horrifying for the market?” he said she asked him.

He said that he was neutral to both U.S. presidential candidates and he believed that Mr. Trump may not carry through on some drastic steps he had suggested on the campaign trail. “Politicians are known to make promises before elections when they want to woo voters,” he said.

In India’s capital New Delhi, members of a small Hindu nationalist group were ready for the news of Mr. Trump’s win. They began gathering at 11 a.m. (12:30 a.m. Wednesday ET) to celebrate a Trump lead they were certain would result in a victory. The group, known as the Hindu Sena, or Hindu army, had hosted a prayer ritual for such an outcome a few months ago. It even held a birthday celebration for Mr. Trump in June.

A member of Hindu Sena celebrated Mr. Trump’s victory, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 9, 2016. PHOTO: CATHAL MCNAUGHTON/REUTERS

More than four dozen supporters gathered at a prominent square on Wednesday. They distributed Indian sweets to passers-by and beat traditional drums. Modifying a popular slogan from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign two years ago, they chanted in Hindi, “this time, a Trump government.”

Vishnu Gupta, who founded the group in 2011, said he’d sent out text messages at 7 p.m. (8:30 a.m. Tuesday ET) the previous day, asking supporters to watch the news closely and gather in the late morning. Mr. Gupta himself hadn’t slept all night, he said, glued to the television as Americans cast their ballots.

To Mr. Gupta, Mr. Trump, represents strong leadership against what he called Islamic terrorism, much like India’s Mr. Modi, he said. “Many people criticized Trump’s proposals to stop radical Muslims from entering the U.S. and mocked us for celebrating the man,” he said. “But today, we’ve come out ahead.”

Back in the U.S., the younger Mr. Hassan didn’t wait up for Trump’s victory speech. “Screw this,” he told his father in Pakistan and went to sleep at around midnight in New York.

The elder Mr. Hassan said that he was worried about his holdings on the local Karachi Stock Exchange, which plunged 2% early on Wednesday, before recovering.

Source: How the Trump Win Played Out in South Asia – India Real Time – WSJ

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