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Small gains for Modi, Trump from Houston

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There is delirious delight all around over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance at a rally of 50,000 Indian Americans in Houston, Texas, at the start of his week-long visit to the United States. Mr Modi’s admirers, as well as Modi-watchers in general, seem overwhelmed by the size and magnitude of the event, which verges on being a grand spectacle without it being one because the cultural show that preceded the speeches has been termed kitschy, or lacking in sophistication. It might appear that where numbers count, it is not right to ask for quality. Now that the razzmatazz is done with, the 50,000 Indian Americans — how many of them were American citizens and how many working in the United States but holding on to their Indian passport is not known — have gone home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have moved on to other more serious engagements — Mr Modi was at the United Nations Global Summit on Climate Change and Mr Trump had a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan — it is time to look at the Modi-Trump show with after-the-event sober eyes.

There were six main players at the show — the 50,000 Indian Americans (were they all of 50,000 there?), the non-profit Texas India Forum (TIF), which had organised the event, the sponsors who included Walmart, Oyo and Tellurian, the gas major, the Indian embassy, or more specifically India’s ambassador to Washington Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who is considered the mastermind of the show, Mr Modi, Mr Trump, the US and........

© The Asian Age