Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday asked visiting US President Donald Trump “not to interfere” in issues pertaining to religious freedom in India as the same were India’s “internal matter”.
Referring to media reports that Trump is likely to express his reservations on aspects of religious freedom with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Sena said that besides faith, issues like Shaheen Bagh, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register are “all domestic concerns of India” which the (Indian) government is tackling.
“This country is run by a democratically elected government and needs no lessons from outsiders on matters pertaining to freedom or dignity… it will be better if the US President completes his ‘sight-seeing tours’ of Ahmedabad, Delhi and Agra and packs off,” the Sena said in a sharp edit in the party-run newspapers, Saamana and Dopahar Ka Saamana.
Elaborating, it said the Trump is essentially visiting India on ‘a business trip’ intended to give a boost to imports-exports between the two nations. Trump is presently on a two-day visit to India along with his wife, daughter and son-in-law, apart from an official delegation.
“But recently, just before Trump’s upcoming trip, the US knocked off India from the list of ‘developing countries’, which has resulted in huge losses for Indian businessman… will he give some indications on all this to the Indian government which can help strengthen the India rupee vis-a-vis the US dollar?” the Sena demanded to know.
It pointed out that Trump’s 36-hour trip to India will not help resolve major problems like the financial crisis that has gripped India along with growing joblessness, and all traces of his visit will be erased as soon as he departs.
Prior to his visit, Trump had declared that he would visit to do business with India, but his short 36-hour trip will make no difference to the middle classes and the poor of India, so where is the question of ‘enthusiasm’ over the Presidential sojourn, the Sena added.
“There is celebration in Ahmedabad, followed by viewing (Delhi CM Arvind) Kejriwal’s achievements in the education sector. Wonder when will he (Trump) review Modi’s works,” the Sena said with a hint of sarcasm.
In Ahmedabad, it pointed out, the roads were cleaned and spruced up, poverty lurking in poor slums hidden behind a wall. These ‘hide-and-seek’ antics have grabbed more attention than anything else during the US President’s trip, the party said.
However, there should be no ‘financial misery’ in welcoming and pampering ‘Trump Maharaj’, the edit concluded.