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New-age sound and light for the Prez at Old Fort

There will only be one person on the erected podium at the Purana Qila on Friday evening; the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 01:08 IST

There will only be one person on the erected podium at the Purana Qila on Friday evening; the President of the United States, George W. Bush. The audience, comprising politicians, members of Parliament, industrialists and other 'eminent Indians' and foreign diplomats, will witness a "seminal address" by Bush on India's growing ties with the US and emergence on the world stage as global power.

The backdrop will not be the crumbling walls of the Old Fort, but the glowing arches of the palace within the 16th century fort's walls, lit by thousands of golden lights brought in from the US. 'Tons of equipment', including audio-equipment, lighting equipment and even wiring have been transported from the US over the past few days to ensure that no glitches occur during the address that will be beamed live back in the US and across the world. No one was willing to hazard a guess on what the entire exercise would cost, but the Archaeological Survey of India is expecting a suitable compensation for the damages to the heritage site.

At Purana Qila, which has been "completely taken over by American security agencies," sources said, the image management firm Wizcraft has been assigned the task of assisting in the audio-visual arrangements for the Bush address.

White House media managers have been using TV and technology to boost the President's image, including the famous 'Top Gun' landing by helicopter on the USS Abraham Lincoln shortly after the 'war' in Iraq was declared over, in 2003.

Mulford’s invites recalled

Excessive zeal to control the events that US President George W. Bush will attend during his three-day stay in India, beginning Wednesday, has caused US Ambassador David C. Mulford embarrassment. Invitations issued by the US Embassy in Mulford's name, inviting eminent Indians to the President's address at Purana Qila, have been "amended," saying, "For security reasons, the card issued by the US Embassy would not be valid for entry to Purana Qila on March 3."

A fresh set of cards have been sent out to the 600-odd invitees. These say”:, “The American Chambers of Commerce (Amcham), FICCI and the CII request the pleasure of the company of the invitee for an address by the US President at Purana Qila on the evening of Friday, March 3.

Entry is from Humayun's Gate, Purana Qila, Mathura Road. For security reasons, the invitees are requested to bring the new card and envelope along with them. The card and envelope are not transferable."

Invitees have been asked to reach the venue by 4.30 p.m. for the event that begins only at 6.45 p.m.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 01:08 IST