US President Donald Trump last week pulled out of Paris climate change accord arguing that he puts America’s economic interests first. Trump did not just stop there, he accused New Delhi of trying to extract seeking “billions and billions and billions” of dollars in foreign aid from the developed world. The US President’s sudden rant against India took New Delhi by surprise and was also seen as a cold signal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his expected visit to the US. India was yet to officially respond to Trump’s no-holds-barred attack on India. However, it was External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who gave it back to the US President in the most diplomatic but firm manner. She drove her point home after stating that it is India’s ethos, not money that prompted New Delhi to sign the landmark accord.
Refuting US President’s charges, Swaraj said, “What Trump said is not the reality. We have signed the Paris accord not under any pressure nor for any money …to say we did it for money, I totally reject that.”
Asserting that India had been engaged in preserving the environment for 5,000 years, Swaraj said, “We worship nature. It is in Indian ethos…We will continue with the Paris deal irrespective of other countries.”
Underling India’s commitment to Paris accord, Swaraj said, “Our signature in the pact was not because of greed, it was not because of fear. We signed it due to our commitment to protecting the environment… India will continue to be part of it irrespective of whether the US remains in it or no.”
Trump’s charge that India is trying to extract “billions and billions and billions” was typical of the hyperbolic tone he often indulges in. Let’s have a fact check of the foreign aids to New Delhi. Total foreign aid to India in 2015 was only $3.1 billion, of which US contributed only $100 million. This is being whittled down to $34 million in 2018, a Times of India report said. Compared to the peanuts in US aid (which New Delhi prefers is completely stopped), India buys $100 million worth of California almonds alone every year, besides billions in armaments. India also receives many times more in foreign investment and remittances than foreign aid.
Sushma, who is considered as one of the most active ministers on social media in Narendra Modi’s cabinet was hailed for his firm response to the US President. Have a look at some of the responses she got:
indians to bahut khush hue the trump ke jeetne pe trump india ka chacha mama nahi hai jo hamesha india ko support karta rahega
— Shamim. Ansari (@shamim2289) June 5, 2017
thus bhakts offering puja for his victory are confused today
— Devlin Chanda (@DevlinChanda) June 5, 2017
Pointless trying to make Trump see reason. He is on his own trip. Unlikely for him to alter his trajectory.
— Aman Deep (@dee13178340) June 6, 2017
Where are the bhakts whos perform ‘havan’ for trump win. __
— Faizan Alam (@mrfaizanalam92) June 5, 2017
I guess Modi and Sushma has told to the world USA is a friend of INDIA and now we are watching how USA treating
— Mohd Imran Siddiqui (@MohdImranSiddi4) June 5, 2017