Why didn’t Narendra Modi tweet to wish President Trump on his birthday
On Thursday, June 14, US President Donald Trump turned 72. He is the oldest US president to serve the first term. At 70, he was also the oldest incumbent to have assumed office in 2016 although Ronald Reagan, another Republican president, was 73 when he was re-elected in 1984.
Trump even had a brief pre-birthday celebration organised in Singapore on June 12 when he met North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un for a historic summit.
However, there was no tweet from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to greet the American president. It is quite unusual for the Indian prime minister who never loses opportunities to connect with world leaders through birthday wishes through the micro-blogging site.
Modi tweeted to greet Obama and even Kim on their birthdays
In the past, Modi has greeted former US president Barack Obama on Twitter; he even greeted North Korean dictator Kim on his birthday after calling him his "good friend". In 2016, he also wished Afghanistani President Ashraf Ghani more than three months ahead of his scheduled birthday!
Modi has also been found to wish friends and foes at home on their birthdays, alike.
Pressing issues between the two democracies now
In June 2017, Modi made his first trip to the US in the Trump era and there were occasions when he hugged the president to show how intimate the relations between the two big democracies are.
Modi had also extended a warm hand to Obama who was in the last leg of his presidency when the former came to power in 2014. Yet, the two focussed on a bonhomie to score strategic and diplomatic points against common rivals.
The strategic and diplomatic realities have changed under Trump's presidency. Despite the bear hugs in Washington and on other world platforms, President Trump has made it evident that he doesn't care for anybody - nor even the US's allies and friends - and only focuses on his country's "own interests". He has time and again targeted India in relation to the climate accord of which he pulled the US out in 2017 as well as trade tariffs.
Recently, he criticised India while taking on his G7 allies saying the latter imposed cent per cent tariffs on imports from US, following up his barb against India over the Harley Davidson motorcycles in February.
The two sides are in the middle of discussions to sort out trade disputes although no solution has been found yet. The trade dispute has turned so alarming that India is even showing an intent to get closer with China to put up a joint force against American protectionism which has also equally affected Beijing.
The Trump Administration's decision to tighten the visa regime has also left Indians worried. Besides, India's announcement that it is not going to abide by any particular country's sanctions on Iran and the US's warning to India over its military agreements with Russia under its CAATSA law have not helped things either.
Though Modi was busy flagging off projects in Chhattisgarh, which will go to election this year end, on June 14 but did he not tweet a greeting purposefully?