After weeks of discussions and speculations, Barrack Obama finally touched down on Indian soil on Saturday, November 6. He will be spending Diwali with a few children in Mumbai before embarking on his long and complicated trip around the nation.
To many Indians his arrival is being seen as a giant pie of which everyone and anyone with the slightest agenda wants a big piece. Kashmir, Kashmiri pandits, treatment of Muslims in America, the Sikh riots of the 80s, visits to the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple and a host of other focus groups pine for his attention.
It is as if the belief has been spread among all such lobbyists that he is a modern-day prophet and his very touch shall cleanse and free them. Which is ironic when one considers that he comes at atime when his own nation seems to be losing faith in him.
On the more serious side of things he definitely will be discussing issues like national and international security, increased trade co-operation between our nations ( reported to be the biggest point in his agenda), sharing of sensitive information, the seat in the UN Security Council for India and the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Security has been heavily beefed up and all involved now nervously await the successful culmination of the trip, which will last for five days. Counter-terror is on Obama's agenda during India visit: USBarack Obama greets people on DiwaliImage: Birds fly past a billboard depicting U.S. President Barack Obama in Mumbai, Friday, November 5.
Text: Vinayak Hegde