Rajat Sharma

How Modi deftly scripted a grand ovation for Trump on Indian soil

AKB1010Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done the magic. He has shown the power of love of the people of India to the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

US President Donald Trump was so much touched by the grand reception given to him at the world’s biggest cricket stadium that he publicly praised Modi several times during his speech. He also praised India’s democracy and the tremendous progress it has achieved since independence and also the success of the big schemes under Modi’s tenure.

In all, Trump hugged Modi seven times, shook hands with him nine times, named Modi at least 27 times and named India 55 times on Monday. You can call it the Modi effect, as a huge 1.25 lakh crowd chanted ‘Modi, Modi’. Not only Trump, any world leader would have been hugely impressed on watching this grand spectacle.

The level of affection was evident from the manner in which Trump was praising “my dear friend” Modi. Normally, Trump prefers self praise and is prone to making acerbic remarks at other leaders, but on Monday, it was a completely different tune. And the entire grand spectacle was telecast live on international news channels like Fox News, BBC, CNN and other networks.

Normally, whenever US presidents visited India, news about their visits used to get passing reference in international news channels, but this time, almost the entire world was watching the grand spectacle across TV news networks.

On Monday, the US President praised Modi’s work style and he attributed the tremendous progress that his government had achieved to the hard work and toil put by our PM. Trump described Modi as his “true friend”, described him as “a tough negotiator” and promised to do a “very major, among the biggest ever made” trade deals with India.

Trump also gave a clear warning to terrorists based in Pakistan. “The US and India are firmly united in our ironclad resolve to defend our citizens from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism”, Trump said. He also gave a personal touch in his fulsome praise of Modi, by recalling how he rose from a tea seller to become India’s prime minister through sheer hard work and perseverance. He also mentioned the landslide victory secured by Modi last year to say how much the Indian people loved their Prime Minister.

Those who keep a watch on Trump’s Twitter handle surely know the extent of self praise that he indulges in, but this is probably the first time when Trump openly praised Modi to the skies before the world’s eyes. There are nearly four million people of Indian origin in the US, and Trump knows that most of them are supporters of Modi. Trump values the support of these people of Indian origin in an election year.

For Narendra Modi, this is a moment of utmost satisfaction. The strong ties of friendship that he has forged with the US President are surely going to reflect in the official level talks that are going to take place on Tuesday.

For every Indian, Trump mentioning Pakistan while speaking about radical Islamic terrorism is a vindication of all the statements made by Modi over the last several years. That until and unless Pakistan gets rid of jihadis from its soil, there cannot be any lasting true friendship.

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