Namaste Trump

Namaste Trump (stylised as नमस्ते TRUMP) was a tour event held on 24 and 25 February 2020 in India.[1] It was the inaugural visit of the then US President Donald Trump and his family to India.[2][3] A rally event of the same name was held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and was the highlight of the tour, as a response to the "Howdy Modi" event held in Houston, Texas, in September 2019.[4] The Narendra Modi Stadium (then known as Motera Stadium) hosted US President Trump and his family along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. An attendance of over 100,000 people was reported,[5] with some speculating an attendance as high as 125,000.[6] The tour was originally named "Kem Chho Trump" but was renamed by the Government of India to promote Indian nationalism over regionalism.[7][8]

Namaste Trump
Namaste Trump logo.jpg
Date24 February 2020 (2020-02-24) – 25 February 2020 (2020-02-25)
Time36 hours
Duration2 days
LocationNarendra Modi Stadium (then Sardar Patel Stadium), Ahmedabad, India
ThemeTraditional
Organized byGovernment of India
Participants100,000–125,000

Main eventEdit

The main event at the stadium was organised in the afternoon and was the highlight of the President's visit to India. The event served as a platform for the US President and Indian Prime Minister to display their friendly relationship with each other.[6] While initial reports suggested that Trump would inaugurate the Motera Stadium,[9] it was later disregarded as "speculation and assumption".[10]

Taj Mahal visitEdit

 
US President Donald Trump (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) at Namaste Trump rally in Narendra Modi Stadium

Trump also visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on the same day.[11] In Agra, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath welcomed the President and the First Lady on their arrival at Agra Airport. An exposition event with 3000 cultural artists showcasing the art and culture of various regions in India also took place.[12] The Trump family then visited the Taj Mahal informally, with no official personnel except the tour guide, and protective personnel such as the United States Secret Service and India's National Security Guard.[13]

Banquet and trade dealsEdit

After visiting the Taj Mahal, the President and his family headed towards New Delhi, to stay at the ITC Maurya, which was heavily surrounded by security personnel from both countries. They also attended the dinner banquet hosted by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. The next day, the First Lady visited Sarvodaya Vidyalaya Senior Secondary Co-Educational school in Nanakpura, South Delhi. President Trump and Prime Minister Modi addressed common issues such as 5G connectivity, trade deals, and signed a US$3 billion defense deal.[14]

PreparationEdit

Ahead of Trump's visit to Ahmedabad, the Gujarat state government had built a new wall.[15] The construction of this wall was protested by social workers claiming that it was created for hiding slums. However, officials denied this and said that it was built due to security reasons.[16][17] In order to keep all roads and walls around the airport spotless from the "red liquid" spat out by the paan (transl. betel leaf) consumers during the Trump visit, the health department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation sealed paan shops near the airport.[18] The Uttar Pradesh government, too, cleaned up the city of Agra[19] and released 500 cusecs of water into the Yamuna river to improve its "environmental condition" ahead of visit.[3][20]

ReceptionEdit

Video footage from the Namaste Trump event

Trump's visit coincided with 2020 Delhi riots,[21][22] with some Indian politicians and political commentators accusing the rioters of tarnishing the country's image, and some criticising the organisation of the event.[23] The visit was criticised by the Indian National Congress, which is the main opposition to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.[24] They claimed it to be "extravaganza" and advised the government to use this opportunity to discuss key issues.[25] Further, the leader of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi, demanded to know which government ministry was funding the private welcoming committee with the estimated amount of 100 crore for organising the Ahmedabad event.[26] Earlier, India's Ministry of External Affairs had stated that a private organisation, Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti (transl. Donald Trump Welcoming Committee), was responsible for organising the Ahmedabad event.[27]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ahmedabad's Motera Stadium to host US President Donald Trump". CNBC TV18. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  2. ^ Parashar, Sachin (24 February 2020). "After Trump, Crimean deputy PM & FM to arrive on 'unofficial' visit". The Times of India.
  3. ^ a b Chatterji, Rohini (19 February 2020). "Donald Trump's Visit: Here's Everything Modi Govt Is Brushing Under The Carpet". HuffPost India. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  4. ^ Pradhan, Bibhudatta (17 February 2020). "It will be Namaste Trump in India after Howdy Modi in US". Bloomberg.
  5. ^ "'Namaste Trump': Modi Holds Huge Rally for President's Visit". The New York Times. Reuters. 24 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (24 February 2020). "'Namaste Trump': India welcomes US president at Modi rally". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "'Kem Chho' Out, 'Namaste' In: Trump's Gujarat Event Renamed, Centre Picks National Theme Over Regional". News18. 16 February 2020. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Kem Chho" means "Hello" in Gujarati, while "Namaste" is the standard greeting in Hindi
  9. ^ Khanna, Sumit (18 February 2020). "Donald Trump To Inaugurate World's Largest Cricket Stadium In Gujarat". HuffPost India. Reuters. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  10. ^ "World's largest cricket stadium, Motera, not to be inaugurated by US president Donald Trump". Times Now. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Trumps visit India's 'monument of love'". BBC. 24 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Trump will remember warm welcome from Uttar Pradesh for long: BJP". The New Indian Express. 24 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Unprecedented security measures in place in Delhi for Trump's visit". The Telegraph (Kolkata). PTI. 23 February 2020.
  14. ^ Pundir, Deepika (25 February 2020). "Donald Trump India Visit Highlights". NDTV.
  15. ^ "Watch | Wall built in Ahmedabad ahead of Trump's visit". The Hindu. 20 February 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Wall hastily built ahead of Trump visit in India criticized as 'hiding poor people'". The Guardian. Associated Press. 18 February 2020.
  17. ^ Langa, Mahesh (18 February 2020). "Donald Trump visit to Ahmedabad | Kerala social worker Aswathy Jwala launches hunger strike against wall 'to hide slums'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Trump's Ahmedabad visit: Pan shops sealed to keep walls swachh". The Times of India. 17 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Namaste Trump: Taj Mahal receives makeover for Donald Trump's Agra visit". The Financial Express (India). 19 February 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Water Released Into Yamuna To Improve "Environmental Condition" Ahead Of Donald Trump's Visit". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  21. ^ Saaliq, Sheikh; Schmall, Emily (26 February 2020). "Death toll rises to 24 from Delhi riots during Trump trip". Associated Press.
  22. ^ "As India Counts Dead, Brutality of Hindu-Muslim Riot Emerges". U.S. News. 29 February 2020.
  23. ^ Pandey, Neelam (25 February 2020). "BJP sees 'conspiracy' in Delhi riots erupting during Trump trip, wants timing investigated". ThePrint.
  24. ^ Oza, Nandini (24 February 2020). "Ahmedabad all set for Namaste Trump, visitors to get charkha demo at Sabarmati". The Week (Indian magazine). Retrieved 7 July 2020. The opposition Congress has been critical of the pomp around the programmes.
  25. ^ "US prez poll campaign? Amid grand preparation for Trump's visit, Congress fumes over 'extravaganza'". Times Now. 22 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi targets Centre, asks who is spending Rs 100 crore on Namaste Trump". India Today. 22 February 2020.
  27. ^ Jha, Satish (21 February 2020). "Private committee to host 'Namaste Trump' event; not a single meeting held as yet". Deccan Herald.

External linksEdit