Taking a dip in the Holy Ganges is supposed to absolve a Hindu of all sins. Donald Trump is visiting India at the end of this month to take a dip in the holy waters of India to perhaps absolve himself of all his sins.
There the newly-buoyant Trump will attempt to buoy the now-embattled prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. Previous world leaders to India always made sure to pay a visit to the Taj Mahal to pay homage to an eternal ode to an emperor’s love for his wife.
There today’s emperor Trump would have paid obeisance to his third wife, Melania, the one who used to spank his hand in the open, but is now beaming like a beauty. But no, Modi wants to deprive the Trumps of love.
Instead, he will take them to his home town of Ahmedabad, a small (by Indian standards), dusty, and nondescript city in the Indian state of Gujarat, where Trump and Modi will address a paid-for crowd of 100,000 in the largest cricket stadium ever built. Of course, Melania will be beaming away.
Trump claims that millions will line up from the airport in Ahmedabad to the stadium wildly cheering for him. Perhaps Modi has had him or perhaps that’s the usual Trump exaggeration, just like about the size of his inaugural crowds.
Sure, India has millions and millions of people. But they have busy lives. They are not lining up in the millions to greet anybody. They have jobs to do. Or more, precisely, in India today, they have a job looking for a job.
Before Trump came along, neither India nor America complained about the trade between them. But Trump put America first and started squeezing India. Now he says that he might sign a shining deal in India. The poor Indians must be wondering, shining for whom?
Not so long ago, India had the reputation of being a beggar nation. World leaders avoided India. Now India is flush with money. It is one of the largest buyers of arms in the world. Barack Obama made a beeline to India to sell his fighter aircraft, but failed. That contract is still open. Surely Trump will be tempted to plug his planes.
India has already decided to spend billions of dollars to buy American navy helicopters to thwart China. That deal, and perhaps others, are slated to be inked by Trump and Modi during the visit. Trump, exaggeratedly, which is par for the course for him, will claim that he’s bringing trillions of dollars home to America.
Modi is embattled today because of his policies on immigration. India is a secular state, and where it once seemed from 2014-19, when Modi first came to power and ruled for five years, that Indian secularists had become cowed by him, that no longer seems to be the case. The secularists seem to have finally found their backbone.
Trump thought that he would knock Joe Biden out of the presidential race, instead Biden is knocking himself out himself. Bernie Sanders seems to be the one to beat now. Bernie is leading Trump by eight points in a one on one contest. That must be scaring the bejesus out of Trump.
Bernie is a protectionist like Trump, so the India visit, with all the “trillions” that Trump wins from it, should bolster himself against Bernie. Modi has already endorsed Trump for president in 2020 at a wild rally six months ago in Houston attended by millions (sorry, thousands) of rapturous Indians.
But Trump does many things to antagonize Indians like putting curbs on H-1B visas and on chain migration to the US, things that really really matter to Indians. Will Indian-Americans heed their adoration for Modi or will they go the other way?
Oh, Donald, skip the rally in Ahmedabad and go visit the Taj. There you will see a monument to the true love that an emperor like you, in times of yore, had for his wife. Princess Diana went there all alone when her marriage to Prince Charles was crumbling and sitting distraught there all alone in front of the Taj said that it been a very healing experience. You have put your country, as well as yourself, through a lot, Donald. It is now time to heal thyself. And heal your people.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.