21 October, 2020

Travelling With The Prima Donna

India is content with US statements about Pakistan and China. But the road ahead is nothing if not uncertain.

Villagers at Marora in Haryana, which was renamed ‘Trump village’
Photograph by PTI
Travelling With The Prima Donna

The ingenuity shown by some to rechristen a nondescript Haryana village after Donald Trump on the eve of Prime Minister Nar­en­­­dra Modi’s meeting with the American President did not go far. Despite media coverage, Marora did not change to ‘Trump village’. Attempts by activists to raise funds to build toilets there have also come a cropper. Authorities have asked them to remove all banners of the US President and move on, as Marora has already been declared an ‘Open Defecation Free’ village.

This interesting episode would perhaps figure as a tiny sidebar on the larger story that evolved in Washington DC on Monday, after the closely watched Modi-Trump meeting. Its likely implications had already been drawing expert comments throughout South Asia, but how solemn points in the statement play out in the cut-and-thrust of the real world of foreign policy and action thereon is a matter of speculation still.

In terms of optics and as far as crossing the first hurdle goes, Trump and Modi’s first face-to-face meeting went...



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