Social media set aflutter by Trump claim about grand welcome on India visit.
It can be scarcely debated that both President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi like larger than life portrayals. And when the two world leaders often known for their penchant for grandiose meet in India next week, all eyes would be peeled for the dramatic beyond the diplomatic.
Ahead of the big visit, media has been focused on what the two leaders may be saying to read the signals about the outcome of the Trump-Modi summit. But Trump seems more fixated on style than substance.
“We’re not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot. He told me we will have seven million people between the airport and the event,” said the President on Tuesday with his usual affinity for the hyperbole.
“And the stadium, I understand is semi under construction, but it’s going to be the largest stadium in the world,” he said speaking from Joint Base Andrews in Washington. “So, it’s going to be very exciting. But he says between the stadium and the airport, we’ll have about seven million people. So, it’s going to be very exciting. I hope you all enjoy it.”
Trump’s stress on seven million people lining up the route from Ahmedabad airport in Modi’s home state of Gujarat to “world’s largest” Motera stadium where a ‘Namaste Trump’ event on the lines of ‘Howdy Mody’ event in Houston last September is planned to welcome him set the social media aflutter.
Seizing on his remarks some political watchers suggested that Trump’s visit would be more spectacular than substantive, others took to Twitter make fun of him.
“Some days ago I said Trump may not have agreed to go to India if the Gujarat spectacle wasn’t on the agenda,” tweeted Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director Asia program at DC based Wilson Center.
“After reading these comments today, I’m even more inclined to think that’s the case. If it was just going to be a Delhi bilateral, a very good chance he would have bailed,” he wrote.
Some days ago I said Trump may not have agreed to go to India if the Gujarat spectacle wasn't on the agenda. After reading these comments today, I'm even more inclined to think that's the case. If it was just going to be a Delhi bilateral, a very good chance he would have bailed. https://t.co/9g1SPs7xLy
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) February 19, 2020
Many Twitter users were quick to point out Trump’s gaffe about mixing up numbers. Television personality Faye D’Souza wrote: “7 million = 70 lakh = 7000,000 people = population of Ahmedabad. Standing on the road….. for this man?
“Someone should tell Trump the difference between lakhs and millions,” tweeted another. “ That takes the unemployment figure of Ahmedabad to 100%. Phew!” wrote yet another.
Trump’s maiden India visit may or may not bring about a trade deal or bring the world’s oldest and world’s largest democracies closer, but his latest gaffe has once more given skeptics a reason to believe that it may be just “yuge.”
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