On his triumphalist tour of this part of the world, where he hopes to wave imperiously at people he considers potential subjects, President Bush’s itinerary is getting curiouser and curiouser. For his March 2 pit stop in New Delhi, the Indian government tried very hard to have him address our Parliament. A not inconsequential number of MPs threatened to heckle him, so Plan One was hastily shelved. Plan Two was that he address the masses from the ramparts of the magnificent Red Fort where the Indian prime minister traditionally delivers his Independence Day address. But the Red Fort, surrounded as it is by the predominantly Muslim population of Old Delhi, was considered a security nightmare. So now we’re into Plan Three: President George Bush speaks from Purana Qila, the Old Fort.
Ironic, isn’t it, that the only safe public space for a man who has recently been so enthusiastic about India’s modernity should be a crumbling medieval fort?
Some more thoughts on Bush’s tour to India can found here.