India is preparing for the visit of US President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad where a lot of pomp and show is being expected both from his followers in India as well as the Indian leadership. The trade relations between India and US are not going very well as of now and this visit by Donald Trump was supposed to cement better ties between the two largest democracies of the world.
Indian society is going through turmoil over the CAA-NRC protests where poor people are fighting for their constitutional rights and equality before law. Gujarat is the place PM Modi was the Chief Minister of before becoming India’s Prime Minister and it was the “Gujarat Model” that was presented as a symbol of progress and development. Gujarat was branded as the most developed and high-end state to be replicated by all other states of the country. This Donald Trump visit, however, seems to be puncturing that image and deflating the whole propaganda.
Ahmedabad has a huge population of people living below poverty line and they dwell in the slums for lack of resources and due to unemployment. Ahead of Donald Trump visit, instead of those slum dwellers given proper accommodation by the government, a wall is being built to hide them from view of the Trump convoy. Officials have reported that it is for security purposes but it sounds suspicious that why only a particular slum is being covered for safety purposes.
As per Al Jazeera reports, slum-dwellers in the city of Ahmedabad say they have been served eviction notices by municipal authorities as the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to host US President Donald Trump on Feb 24.
The slum is close to the Motera Stadium where Modi and Trump are expected to attend an event dubbed “Kem Chho Trump” (How are you, Trump) along the lines of the “Howdy Modi” extravaganza the US president organised for the Indian prime minister in Houston last September.
Moreover, the turnout at the Howdy Modi event in Houston last September was around 50,000 which was later inflated with much propaganda. However, the expected turnout at the Kem Chho Trump event is already exaggerated to comical levels. Donald Trump was reported as saying, “Here’s my problem. We have a packed house. We have a lot of people, thousands of people, that couldn’t get in. It’s gonna look like peanuts from now on. I’ll never be satisfied with a crowd if we have 10 million people in India!”
Donald Trump is expecting around 10 million people to grace his presence between the Airport and the event, it is comical because Ahmedabad’s estimated population is 7 million, according to a civic official quoted in a recent PTI report. Where will the rest 3 million people be arranged from remains to be seen.
Despite the entire hullabaloo over the visit, the trade deals between India and US do not seem to be getting any better. Instead of focusing on the pomp and show, Modi government should have focused more on getting the US President to sign a deal that benefits India and works in Indian interests.
Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday saying “we can have a trade deal with India but I am really saving the big trade deal for later on. We are doing a very big trade deal with India. We will have it. I don’t know whether we will have it before the election, but we will have a very big deal with India.” This puts India in a tight spot and begs the question then what is the purpose of this visit in the first place.