US media gives R-Day a pass, focus on Obama’s Saudi visit

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 28, 2015 02:43 IST

Day One of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India made headlines in the US for unrelated reasons — his subsequent trip to Saudi Arabia and the unrest in Yemen. New Delhi was just a dateline, not a story.

There wasn’t much of a story in the hug at the airport, and the ceremonial reception in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, at the close of US print deadlines.

Day Two’s events made news with the resolution of the nuclear impasse, which CNN called a “sticking point”.

The Washington Post ran a story in its world section: “A ‘breakthrough understanding on nuclear issues in India”.

The report noted the personal chemistry between the two leaders saying it “blossomed” during Modi’s September visit to Washington DC, when he met the President for the first time.

The Post also ran a story on the same page on Prime Minister Modi’s estranged wife, Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi, noting she wasn’t by his side at the banquet for the Obamas.

The Wall Street Jour nal stayed with the visit, but also in the world section, spinning it as a message to China: it was a “display of strengthened ties between the world’s largest democracies as an increasingly assertive China shifts Asia’s power balance”.

The New York Times used the Republic Day parade to unravel the layers of symbolism around the visit — as a “fitting geopolitical metaphor”.

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