Trump visit to India is quite an event and the Indian Government is preparing rigorously to welcome him with all pomp and show. This pomp and show, however, has hooked all Indians’ attention to his arrival because the cost incurred on this event is unimaginable.
The humongous amount of money spent on his arrival has stirred up much and obvious criticism and conversations across the nation. At a time when unemployment, job insecurities, country’s internal tensions, and national unrest is at its peak, the government is busy organising a grandeur welcome ceremony for the US president.
There are two key motives behind the visit of Donald Trump. Trump’s arrival day, 24th February 2020 also marks the day of the inauguration of the world’s largest cricket stadium known as the Sardar Patel Stadium (also known as Motera Cricket stadium) in Motera, Ahmedabad city of Gujarat. Donald Trump is said to inaugurate this stadium which holds the seating capacity of 1,10,000 people. Another reason behind his visit is to ‘smoothen and build friendly trade relations’ with India.
This is going to be Donald Trump’s first visit ever to India. There is not much need for me to tell you what this event is going to be addressed as, do I? Yes, it’s going to be called ‘Namaste Trump’. Funnily though, prior to deciding to keep the addressal unbiased to a particular religion/regional language, Trump visit was to be called ‘Kem Cho Trump’.
He is going to visit India for just three hours. In these 3 hours, Trump, as reported by the media, is also going to visit the famous Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and embark on a roadshow with our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. After this, the two leaders will proceed to the stadium for its inauguration where the US President is also going to address an approximate crowd of one lakh people.
A lot of ‘effort’ seems to be invested into just one thing, i.e to keep Trump from witnessing the poverty/plight of poor Indians. A huge wall is constructed to cover the sight of slums that fall on the way to the stadium, to hide bitter reality of India. This much talked about wall is seven-foot, 400 metres long and the construction of which is estimated to cost about Rs 100 crore. If this figure has shocked you, then you might need a glass of water to read the next part. There are chances you might start feeling a little uneasy after reading the next figures.
Another 30 crore rupees have been poured to repair and fancy the roads on which Trump is going to set his foot on. Around 28 stages are going to be built along the way to the main venue, multiple cultural programs are going to be organised, AND more than 1 lakh trees and flower beds are going to be planted. A total of 60 million Indian rupees is already spent on the ‘beautification’ of the city alone. Around 12,000 security personnel are going to be deployed for the overall security of the event. About 3 crore rupees alone are going to be spent just on flowers to decorate the roads on which Trump and his wife, the first lady, Melania Trump are going to travel.
Another 30 crores are being spent on fog machines which are going to be in use till 24th February to ‘beautify’ the city even more. The whole preparation does not just stop here. Slums around the stadium too are evicted leaving 45 families homeless. The reason for their eviction was stated as them “illegally living on civic body’s land’’ for two whole decades. The eviction notice was also given to these slum dwellers just two-three days back leaving them with absolutely no time to relocate themselves somewhere else. It is important to note though that the authorities ‘coincidentally’ realized this fact now, out of all other times. Again, I don’t need to tell you why this is done.
Furthermore, two-three paan shops located around the airport have been sealed by the authorities stating that the locals chew paan and leave red stains around the area. Pan shops are one major identity of India, and you shut them too? Street dogs in and around the area too have been caged to keep the roads ‘bark-free’. They didn’t even leave those poor beings alone. In addition to this, around 60 International and Domestic flights have been rescheduled ahead of Trump’s visit. Just about 10 flights will bring only ‘eminent’ personalities to the event and will land at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.
The overall estimated cost of welcoming the US President stands somewhere close to 800 to 850 million INR.
Previously, after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, leaders of China, Japan and Israel too have visited the city of Ahmedabad. Out of all these leaders, US President Donald Trump has proved to be quite a high maintenance, the cost of which we taxpayers are bearing.