As India sets stage for Trump’s visit, a look at previous visits by US presidents

As India sets stage for Trump's visit, a look at previous visits by US presidents

Obama is the only US President to have visited India twice in 2010 and 2015, while Clinton was the first President to visit India in 2000 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, after a gap of 20 years of US's presidential visits.

The United States President Donald Trump will make his maiden visit to India on Monday. His visit continues the trend of frequent visits by US presidents, him being the seventh president to visit.

Here is a look at previous US Presidential visits to India:

Dwight D. Eisenhower: Eisenhower was the first US President to visit India. He visited in 1959 in the midst of the Cold War when the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was heralding India's non-aligned stance.

Richard Nixon: Nixon came to India on a one-day visit in 1969. During his visit, he met acting President Hidayatullah Khan and prime minister Indira Gandhi. A known Pakistani supporter, Nixon was against India’s non-aligned position.

As India sets stage for Trump's visit, a look at previous visits by US presidents

President of USA Jimmy Carter and Mrs Rosalynn Carter with the President Neelam Sajiva Reddy, the Prime Minister Morarji Desai and others prior to their departure from Delhi airport for Riyadh on January 3, 1978. (Express archive)

Jimmy Carter: Carter visited India in 1978 and during his visit indicated that he will try to strengthen Indo-American ties and change its previous pro-Soviet orientation. Carter said at the time, “India is the world’s largest democracy. In the past, under Mrs Gandhi, their primary orientation was towards friendship with the Soviet Union. I would like very much for the people of India and for the Prime Minister, Mr Desai to know how much we value restoration of the strong ties of friendship, trade and commerce.”

Bill Clinton: After a gap of US presidential visits for over 20 years, Clinton was the first President to visit India in 2000 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. His visit was seen as transformative of Indo-US relations that were bedeviled by years of suspicion and mistrust. The 1998 Pokharan tests and the 1999 Kargil War had not lost their resonance.

As India sets stage for Trump's visit, a look at previous visits by US presidents

Political leader Atal Behari Vajpayee with Bill Clinton. (Express archive)

Clinton had said at the time, “From a distance, India often appears as a kaleidoscope of competing, perhaps superficial images. Is it atomic weapons,or ahimsa (non-violence)? A land struggling against poverty and inequality, or the world’s largest middle-class society?… Is it Bollywood or Satyajit Ray?… handloom or the hyperlink?”

George W Bush: Bush came to India in 2006, when it had been nearly five years since 9/11 and the 2001 Parliament attack, which he referred to as an “attack on the heart of Indian democracy”. During his speech, Bush quoted Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore and said, “When you come to India in the 21st century, you’re inspired by the past and you can see the future."

Barack Obama: Obama is the only US President to have visited India twice in 2010 and 2015.

Obama first visited India when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister and it came at a time when the US' war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq was ongoing. During his speech, which he delivered from the Purana Qila in Delhi, Obama drew upon Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, BR Ambedkar, and the Panchtantra. “And I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today as President of the United States had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world,” he said in 2010.

As India sets stage for Trump's visit, a look at previous visits by US presidents

President Barack Obama greets the crowd at the conclusion of his speech, at the Delhi Townhall event at Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi on Jan 27, 2015. (PTI)

On the other hand, in 2015 Obama came to India as the chief guest of the 66th Republic Day celebrations. Addressing his speech to a small audience gathering at the Siri Fort auditorium, he spoke about tolerance, equality, international peace and security and Indo-US relations among other things. “Across our two countries, we have Hindus and Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews and Buddhists. We remember the wisdom of Gandhiji who said, 'for me, different religions are flowers from the same garden or branches of the same majestic tree',” Obama said.