Perspective on U.S.-India Ties
The U.S. president, Donald Trump, joining the Indian prime minister at a 50,000-strong rally of Indian-Americans in Houston on September 22 was unprecedented and perhaps 'historic', with potential benefits for the bilateral US-India relationship. But it also raises several questions in its trail.
It is unusual for a U.S. president to join a public event with a visiting foreign leader that focuses on the immigrant community, rather than some aspect of US, or shared, history. Even more so for Trump, who is loath to share the attention with anyone.
The fact that he sat through an hour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech, which focused largely on India's domestic achievements under his leadership since 2014, would suggest that Trump saw some gain for himself. In 2016, nearly 80 per cent of Indian-American voters opted for Hillary Clinton.