Modi’s State Visit to the USA: A New Era For India

Kicking off his 3-day visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the US leadership, members of Congress, the American CEOs, and the members of Indian American community. His visit is hailed by many as a watershed movement in Indo-US ties which also may come along with several pacts related to defence, critical technology and most importantly better cooperation.

This is PM Narendra Modi’s 6th visit to the US and has met 3 presidents – Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Such an elaborate state visit is an honour reserved for the closest allies of the United States. The visit comes at a time the world is plagued by conflict in Ukraine and aggression by China making it special and important.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit also coincided with the 9th International Day of Yoga, which was attended by UN Officials, diplomats and other prominent personalities. In Washington DC, Modi participated in a public Yoga event that entered the Guinness World Record for most nationalities present at any yoga event. He subsequently arrived in Washington DC to meet President Joe Biden.

On his arrival at the White House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a handcrafted Sandalwood box to the President. It is believed that the symbolic gift by Prime Minister Modi signifies the rituals mentioned in the ancient Indian Text Krishna Yajurveda’s Vaikhana Grihya Sutram. According to MEA, there were around 10 types of gifts that were being presented to the US president which includes an idol of Lord Ganesha, a Diya & the first edition of the First 10 Upanishads.

Meanwhile, a state dinner was hosted in honour of the PM by the first lady of the United States, Mrs Jill Biden. PM Modi gifted the first lady a 7.5-green karat diamond. It is believed that the green diamond symbolizes and reflects the chemical and optical nature of the earth and that it is eco-friendly and eco-diversified.

Modi-Musk Meet

On the first day of his visit to the US the CEO of the world’s largest electric car producer Tesla Inc., met Prime Minister Modi in a bid to open up and make significant investments in India. Musk expressed his desire to visit India soon. His meeting with the Prime Minister comes at a crucial juncture marked by two significant events.

The tech CEO has been scouting for a location for the production of Tesla’s electric cars and is considering countries such as Korea, France, Indonesia and plausibly India as well because India has emerged with a strong potential for sustainable energy including solar power, stationary, battery packs and now electric cars.

While Tesla has been in talks with the Indian Government for the past many months, it has already registered a business corp. Tesla Indian Motors and Energy Pvt. Ltd based in the tech capital of India – Bangalore. Tesla’s sudden interest to invest and start producing electric cars in India comes as a surprise given its u-turn from its previous stubborn position that India lacked the ability and didn’t possess all the materials for the production of an electric car. India’s Minister of Transportation and Roadways Nitin Gadkari responded to Tesla’s position by saying that if Tesla had plans to outsource and produce Tesla electric cars in China and sell them in India, it would not be permitted at any cost, a price Tesla has to pay losing an eloquent opportunity.

Tesla has also asked the government to reduce the import taxes imposed on electric cars and their components stating that the company should at least start production before tax benefits are ever to be considered. The company wants to gauge the demands in India by putting up CBU or Completely Built-Up Units.

It is not just Tesla but even Korean Car giant Hyundai that has been supportive of the request by Tesla. At the same time fearing competition, domestic players like Tata Motors and Ola Electric have opposed the coming of Tesla as it would hurt their market and they profoundly believe the reduction of Import Taxes would hurt domestic competition.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the efforts taken by Elon Musk to make technology accessible to all sectors and all sections of society and also asked him to come and explore the opportunities offered in India, especially in electric mobility and the rapidly expanding space sector.

Musk after meeting with Prime Minister Modi gave his remark to the media stating that he was incredibly excited about the future of India and that he liked Prime Minister Modi and is a fan of him. He also remarked that Prime Minister Modi is caring for his country even going to the extent of pushing us to come and invest in India.

The meeting of Prime Minister Modi also comes at a critical juncture wherein former CEO Jack Dorsey had made critical remarks and sensational allegations about India alleging that the Indian Government Threatened to Shut Down the accounts of those critical against the Government and even the Platform for not complying with the rule of India, when infect he has admitted to aiding Left wing ecosystem within Twitter and is known to suppress the voice of the Right-wing. 

Musk responded to the issue by stating that “We cannot apply America to the Earth” that we do not have a choice but to comply with the local governments and that he will do everything under his capacity to promote free speech on the platform.

(Opinions expressed are the author’s own)

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