Trump in India

Bitterly stung by recent election reverses in States like Jharkhand and Delhi, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government has a lot at stake as far as the visit of the U.S. President Donald Trump is concerned. The Central government is optimistic that a number of deals would be inked, though Mr. Trump before his departure almost queered the pitch by criticising the high trade tariffs in India that have hurt U.S. exports. Plenty of store is also being placed on the bonhomie between the two leaders though in the final analysis it would count for nothing if Mr. Modi fails to negotiate a good deal for his country. Mr. Modi also faces the prospect of being queried on controversial topics like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, religious freedom and Kashmir, which he may not relish. With Mr. Trump’s visit having been hyped up beyond all measure, there would be virtually no gains for the government unless there are some tangible results to show.

C.V. Aravind,


As a leader who fancies himself, Mr. Trump must have been overwhelmed by the rousing reception he got en route to and in the packed Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. The milling crowd did not appear to be in millions, though. An astute businessman-cum-politician, Mr. Trump pushed all the right buttons. He stated that India has a ‘true and trusted friend’ in America. He professed America’s love and respect for India. He declared that India’s economic progress in the last 70 years gives hope to all of humanity, but he skirted the issue of the current economic slowdown in India. He mentioned en passant that American economy was ‘booming like never before’ with a self-satisfied smirk on his face.

President Trump left nothing untouched; he referred to Bollywood, Deepavali and Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. He remembered to mention the contributions of Indian Americans to his ‘beloved country’ in a bid to woo them. He saw India as a ‘major market’ for America. He was eager to make trade and defence agreements with India. He would supply India ‘most feared arms’. He omitted to mention his ending Indian preferential trade status. It was a gem from him that the true strength of India lies in the hearts of its people.

At the iconic Sabarmati Ashram he tried his hand at spinning the charkha. While scribbling thanks to his friend Mr. Modi for his ‘kindness and hospitality’, he did not write a word in praise of Mahatma Gandhi. The picture perfect Namaste Trump event in the cricket stadium with the spotlight on the Trump-Modi pair was a visual treat to us. The bonhomie between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, almost indistinguishable from each other was in full display. Both have an inflated sense of their own importance and a weakness for publicity. It is apt to describe them ‘birds of a feather’.

While taking the whole country by storm, the hyped-up Trump visit has also mirrored what kind of a nation we have become. It was a shame that a wall was erected to hide the slums — a poor advertisement for an Incredible India — from Mr. Trump’s sight. It was a shame that it was done in the land of Mahatma Gandhi. It is not quite clear how Mr. Trump’s visit that exacted a splurge on sprucing up the spots in his itinerary will herald acche din.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu



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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:02:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/trump-in-india/article30906672.ece

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