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Trump has finally accepted Modi’s friend request and all is well

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When the leader of a country goes on an official visit to another nation, s/he usually praises that country. But ‘Howdy, Modi!’ was not an official India-US event. It was a private affair organised by a little-known organisation of Indian-Americans, Texas India Forum. Modi lavishly praised Trump, and Trump lavishly praised Modi. It was a match made in heaven, two leaders for whom everything is always about themselves.

Modi began his speech by saying he represented 130 crore Indians. So, when they asked him ‘Howdy, Modi?’, he gave his short reply, in several Indian languages: ‘everything is fine’. Subtly but surely, he was equating himself with India. Modi is India, and India is Modi.

It is with this same formula of personal praise that Modi has finally won Trump over, after nearly three years of trying. “He was a household name,” Modi said of Trump, “and very popular even before he won to occupy the highest office in this great country.” This was only the beginning – Modi went on for quite a few minutes in his praise of Trump, saying exactly what Trump wanted to hear.

Trump has been playing hard to get since he became president in 2016, refusing to give Modi the photo-ops that he needs for the careful projection of his image. The biggest setback to India-US relations was not when the US offered........

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