Delhi is cold and grey and misty-looking this Tuesday morning. I was actually going to say Delhi is miserable-looking, but I must try and start the day with some degree of optimism. After the warmth and sunshine of Mumbai, it all seems rather gloomy here.
But at least we have the Obama visit to look forward to this weekend.
I got rather bored by all the facts and figures in an article I read last night, cataloging the vast amount of men and machinery coming over here to protect POTUS and FLOTUS. But it’s lots and lots, take my word for it. I was, however, immeasurably cheered by the fact the Indians said no to the demand that we close our airspace over Delhi, to suit the Americans.
Bloody cheek, if you ask me.
And the speculation that for security reasons, POTUS may not ride in the same vehicle as his host, the President of India, but rather in his own specially flown in vehicle seems downright rude, if (yet again) you were to ask me. If you are so terrified of what might befall you in India, Mr. President, then why didn’t you politely decline the invitation and stay home?
Our cars not good enough for you?
Should we be rude and bring up the subject of Dublin?
Apparently the Americans want all hotels and eateries on the Delhi-Agra route to be closed for 3 days prior to the POTUS-FLOTUS trip to Agra?
Pray tell, are the Americans going to compensate everyone for the inevitable financial losses, for three days of no business? I’m not even a proud Indian, for crying out loud, just a resident tax payer, so I can only imagine how narked the average Indian must be, at such high-handedness.
I asked this very same question in an earlier blog post on this very same topic, to wit;
“And all this colossal waste of money and man owner is for what?” So that POTUS drives in his own car down Rajpath and stands in an enclosed stand on Rajpath, surrounded by God alone knows how many of his own security personnel. Why not stay at home and watch our Republic Day parade on the telly, sir?
And now the time has come to ask a few questions, and I dearly hope you, my clever readers, will have the answers for me.
– Do the Americans demand that whole sections of European cities are shut down when POTUS visits, the way they are demanding vast swathes of north India be shut down? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Obama were to go to Paris this week, scene of terrible terrorism a few days ago…the Americans would demand that the Champs Elysées be shut down, access roads closed off, buildings be off limits, and sanitised by them?
– And my second question is – when a foreign dignitary visits the US, would the Americans accept similar demands. Don’t forget 9/11, one of the worse terrorist attacks ever. Any self respecting Indian leader might well feel ill at ease visiting New York, but do you for one moment think the U.S. would allow Indians to dictate which streets should be kept open and which businesses should be shut?
I think it is all hugely high-handed, and I just hope the Indians are telling the Americans “Sorry-ji, but no” and not kow-towing.
POTUS and FLOTUS – by all means come here, and enjoy what I am sure will be a smashing show on Republic Day, and the Taj Mahal really is very special, but might we please all lead our lives for the next week?