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'Namaste Trump' signals global tilt to right-wing politics

Barack Obama counseled India about the need for religious tolerance. But is Donald Trump listening?

Nirendra Dev, New Delhi 

Nirendra Dev, New Delhi 

Updated: February 21, 2020 12:10 PM GMT
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'Namaste Trump' signals global tilt to right-wing politics

An Indian worker cleans a Vijayanta tank on display near billboards with images of US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on Feb. 20 ahead of Trump's visit to India. (Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP)

Days ahead of US President Donald Trump’s two-day maiden visit to India, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the relationship between New Delhi and Washington had evolved to one of “our most consequential relationships today.”

Trump is making a 36-hour visit on Feb. 24-25 to Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi, and importantly the visit comes ahead of the US presidential elections in November.

A serious component of Trump’s visit will be Ahmedabad, the business capital of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, which witnessed rampant anti-Muslim violence in 2002. Modi was the chief minister of the state at the time.

The administration is busy building walls on sides of roads to hide the slums from  Trump when his car passes through the city. After all, the "Gujarat Model" was the development model Modi used for his political campaigns, and he doesn’t want Trump to see the failure of his model.

In Ahmedabad, Trump will address the “Namaste Trump” event jointly with Modi at the newly built Motera Cricket Stadium, the world’s largest cricket stadium.

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