President Trump is now in India. After waiting for his arrival eagerly, it is a matter of great honour to welcome a foreign dignitary and that too one of a calibre as President Donald Trump.
We Indians take it as a pride to extend a red carpet welcome in a gala manner to Trump. This practice has been happening in the past too since the time of our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Now it is the turn of Modi- Trump meet.
We respect the foreign dignitaries coming to India and it is happening for centuries. However, we take lot of objections for Trump’s visit. Unlike what happened with China in the year 1962, India-US relations are not strained and progressing well. As a developed country, the US pays respect to a developing country like India. Why then should we face such a stiff opposition within inside despite having a fairly healthy relationship with the US. This was reflected in the best way by Trump and it is time to reciprocate the sentiments rather than showing black flags. Namaste Trump.
With massive decorations and elaborate security arrangements, Ahmedabad gave a rousing reception to Trump for a mega event held at the Motera stadium. Similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Howdy Modi! rally held in New Hampshire last year, the US president took part in the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at the newly-constructed cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. From resurfacing roads and planting palm trees along the streets to building and a wall apparently to hide the slums, the Gujarat government made an elaborate arrangement.
This is the first time that any U.S. President did connect with the Indian people at large, an acknowledgement of the important space that people-to-people ties have played. While this is the first such public rally in Ahmedabad, ex US President Dwight Eisenhower did address a joint rally with PM Jawaharlal Nehru at Delhi’s Ramlila Grounds in 1959, which an estimated crowd of 5 lakh people had attended.
Both sides are expected to fast track the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), to be discussed during the defence talks in March. Once sealed, BECA (the third logistic agreement between the militaries) will ensure smooth flow of high-end technology from the U.S. to India.
Apart from the strategic and military aspect, both sides are expected to take up trade relationship especially since President Trump himself has announced that he will seal a big trade deal with India later this year. There are Indian concerns about the agriculture and dairy sectors in such a scenario that are yet to be clarified by the officials.
In Gujarat people from all languages spoke excitedly about the Trump visit, drawing a parallel between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ and Mr. Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogans. All said and done, the visit is aimed at showcasing India’s rich diversity.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)