US Presidents & Sensex
Since 2000, US presidents have been visiting India every five years. Donald Trump’s visit is exactly five years after the second visit of his predecessor, Barack Obama (January 2015). His first visit was in November 2010. Interestingly, during both the visits, the benchmark Sensex was near its record high. Today’s fall of 800 points notwithstanding, the Indian market is again close to its all-time high that it touched in January. “The Sensex was at 20K when Obama first visited. It was near 30K during his second visit. Currently, it is around 40K. Let’s hope when Trump or any other US president visits India next, the index crosses 50k,” quipped a broker. Given that the base has gone up, meeting such targets may not have to wait another five years.
Buttermilk, not Trump
While the “Namaste Trump” event held at the Motera Stadium on Monday grabbed a fair share of eyeballs from across the country, those closest to action were up against two adversaries: The language barrier and the scorching Ahmedabad sun. Unsurprisingly, by the time the US president started addressing the gathering, many in the 100,000-strong crowd were not present on their seats. Most of them, or at least the ones who were bothered by the heat, lapped up the one relief available: Refreshments, mainly packets of buttermilk. Now the rush at the counters serving those was only because of fatigue or was it simply a pretext to leave the venue, one can only guess.
Trump the entertainer
US President Donald Trump (pictured) on Monday struck a chord with the crowd that gathered to listen to him by turning to popular culture, including praising the “genius” of the Hindi film industry. He recalled blockbuster movies Sholay and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). His pronunciation bloopers had the crowd laughing. He pronounced Sholay “Shojay”, Swami Vivekananda “Vivekamanaman”, Sachin Tendulkar “Suchin”, and chaiwala, a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as “cheewala”. Yash Raj Films, the makers of DDLJ, later posted on Twitter: “DDLJ trumps!” A marble replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s “three wise monkeys”, a copy of his “talisman”, a special edition of his autobiography were among the items gifted to Trump during his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. Trump left a message in the visitors’ book at the Ashram without any mention of the Mahatma. In the book, Trump wrote, “To my great friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thank you for this wonderful visit.”