Cyberspace in Mumbai has been buzzing with Obama. And I wouldn’t stand down for anything.
Here’s presenting you 5 simple steps to becoming Obama
1. Announce to the economic centre of the country that you will spend a day there. Even if all you did was arrive in the evening and leave next morning.
2. Stall all traffic in the city for the whole day. And the next. Both on the streets in South Bombay, and at the airport, as you flew in and out in your private jet. (I spent a full 70 minutes to get from Cuffe Parade to VT, which is otherwise a 30 minute commute at worst)
3. Spend Diwali at an English school. Not in a Vernacular school. Just because your security might go crazy.
4. Arrive a day AFTER Diwali to spend Diwali in Mumbai, only because Diwali is classified as a security threat. Way to respect our beliefs President.
5. And finally. Poster your face over every news channel, newspaper, and in some case, flyover, so that people know you are going to be around and so that they know to stay off the streets.
While I completely am in support of Indo-US relations (refer to post not so long ago), this is no way to foster relations Sir. If the President, or any of his innumerable intelligence agencies is reading this, I hope he is aware of the inconvenience that he has caused this city. Mumbai is not Washington. Yet. It is not equipped to handle VIP personnel the way his city is. Yet. His trip to Mumbai may have been a political and diplomatic success, but the murmur on the streets are not in his favour. He has become a household name, but for all the wrong reasons – for stalling traffic in downtown Mumbai for hours at long, for cancelling flights at an airport that is already breathing for space. I hope he realises that India is a democracy and that, at the end of the day, public support will be necessary if he needs to take relations between our countries to a new level, and isolating the masses is not the way to do it.
But political decisions probably dont rely as much on the public as I imagine they would be. I’m just a blogger, with no footprint in the political lobbies, so I’ll probably be ignored. But in a country with free speech, I’ve said my bit.