India recently welcomed the white supremacist from the west in a warm embrace. Flooded with thousands of Indians were the sidewalks of the road that Trump’s convoy passed through, all dressed up in their ethnic wears, singing, dancing to a tune of a deal that didn’t happen.
Ending the preferential trade status for India in 2019, the United States received a retaliation when India extended tariffs on 28 products of the United States. There is a US trade deficit of $25.2 billion with India which both the countries were hoping to improve upon Trump’s visit to India.
With an elaborately planned visit, hiding slums from the eyesight of the general masses of the US and restricting Trump to a completely filled stadium, even the opportunist charade was all in despair as empty promises were thrown off by both parties.
There was a mention about the Blue Dot Project aiming to connect private sectors from Japan, Australia, and US with the respective governments and which according to Trump would not be possible without India’s cooperation.
Ahead of this visit filled with grandeur in a country with its on-going economic toils, a senior US official reported that the President would be raising issues of immediate concerns like religious freedom and the rights of minorities. What happened though was a 180 degrees turn from the statement. Trump regarded Modi as a leader who has put in extreme efforts to secure religious freedom in the country.
Trump’s visit was right after the day the Delhi riots began but hey, as long as India buys US military equipments worth $3 billion, all is well!
But Trump did go ahead with his statement about the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and offered to help out to mediate in the issue related to Kashmir. While Trump’s peace plan for Palestine shows his imperial roots, what his mediation in Kashmir might trigger can be easily predicted.
When trade relations are in jeopardy, such visits are only a matter of time, but this visit meant more than just that. The world witnessed two powerful men with similar mindsets shake hands and not say a word about their hatred towards religious minorities and more importantly the Islamophobia they spread, that’s just how hegemonic imperial trade relations are.