Atithi Devo Bhava( Guests are like God), but Athiti Dev naahi( Guests are not God).
The first one is an age old adage, which the tourism department uses these days most often, whereas second is a piece of creativity (rather the lack of it).
Well one of most influential figures (and I call one of intentionally) in the world, president of the United States of America, Barack Obama is all set to visit India.
Welcome sir, be our guest.
Going by the build-up of the visit it seems that media houses, business houses and politicos have forgotten the first of the above mentioned adage and towed on to the one that doesn’t exist.
Power houses in national politics cite (as claimed by the prime time anchors of national broadcasters)one of the reasons that Maharastra Chief Minister wasn’t sacked despite being involved in housing scam is because the ‘Change’ leader of 21st century is coming so we can’t change our CM. Change of guard brings a bad name, is what the word is being floated around political circles.
Bad name? Wonder if Obama by weirdest stretch of imagination knows who the hell is Maharastra CM and what difference does it make if it is some other Marathi Manoos instead of Ashok Chavan. If it doesn’t matter to Obama, I wonder if it ever mattered to average Maharastrian who their CM is? So why not change, given a chance.
Politics aside, I was taken aback by a report in The Times of India that Tata Group Chairman, Ratan Tata will host Obama at the Taj Mhahal hotel Mumbai, “the site of 26/11 terror attack,” and show him around. Well wonder if our news channels left anything unseen for anyone, leave aside Obama. The ‘Live’ coverage of attacks and the comments flowing already showed to the world what the site was like and later some lifestyle channels have shown the reconstructed hotel more times than the time taken to put the place back in shape.
To me this looks like a pathetic PR exercise, something uncalled for. Obama will visit the attack site and meet some survivors. Well if my memory doesn’t let me down there were other hotels too which were attacked, but they don’t get chance to show Obama around or at least don’t get coverage like the stalwart Ratan Tata. Later Taj will host Obama where he will meet the likes of Mukesh Ambans and Azeem Premji. Wonder how Premji will greet the guy set to destroy his shop( Outsoursing business, if you recall say no to b’lore and yes to Bufallo)
While all this is being done, the fourth pillar of democracy (media) is being painted by colourful features on where will Obama stay, whom will he meet, what will he eat, will his beast (the most secure limo on planet) move on our Indian roads, I would say will the beast survive the monster of Indian roads which are being patched up.
Media has gone berserk with Obama visit, they covering everything about it in detail, except the agenda of course. There are dedicated sections like ‘Obama visit’ links on websites , photogalleries, debates on what will he eat where will he go and all, but very few space to issues over the hands.
Which reminds when will he get to discuss the issues and with whom, November 6(Day 1) statement at Taj on 26/11,(followed by guided tour by Ratan tata), visit to Gandhi Museum, back to Taj for A meet the top brass of business hosted by RT.
Day 2 Diwali celebration with some students, talks on how much US loves India (Only in papers it seems) and some talk on agriculture. Off to Delhi. Visit Humayun’s tomb and dinner with the Prime minister.
Day 3: Gandhi ji again at Rajghat, joint statement with PM, (from dinner table to Press conference), Meet Madam( Sonia Gandhi) , then address the poor MP’s( bet half of them won’t get what he utters). Poor MP from Pali and many like him can’;t understand what MMS speaks , Obama stands no chance.
After lots of talking, meet President before flying off to Jakarta next morning.
With loads of socialising to do, wonder when will time will come for serious questions like threat to outsourcing, immigration rules, lack of coordination on passing intelligence information, US support n aid to Pakistan, etc will come and be discussed.
This looks like Obama’s happy Diwali outing, kind of meet the PM visit.
Time we wake up as a country and stop sucking up to the likes of these guys.
When a leader comes calling, treat him/her, greet them , but for heavens don’t suk up to them.