Only the politically very naïve would have thought that the American President’s visit to India would have set either the Potomac or the Indian Ocean on fire. But from the time Donald Trump and his delegation set foot in Ahmedabad, there was no doubt that the 45th President of the United States and his family that included the First Lady, Daughter and Son-in-Law were going to have a trip that was going to be both substantive and laced with symbolism and atmospherics.
Looking at Trump’s visit merely in terms of the US$ 3 billion arms deal that was clinched would be simplistic—the President need not have travelled half way around the globe to ink this pact that could have been done by officials in New Delhi and Washington.
At the same time, harping on a notion that Trump came to India just to seal the votes of the Indian Americans for the November elections is also highly exaggerated. Surely, there is some to be gained politically, but the fact also remains that a majority of the 4-million-strong Indian American community are not with the Grand Old Party. Republican-leaning Indian Americans would have voted for Trump anyway this November!
The American President was scheduled to have been the Republic Day Guest in 2019 but that could not materialise because of his domestic scheduling issues. It is a visit that has been pending and one that could be put together at this point of time.
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