Obama's India visit not embraced by all
November 6th, 2010
10:39 PM ET

Obama's India visit not embraced by all

MUMBAI, India (CNN) - The normally bustling city of Mumbai is moving at a much slower pace. President Obama’s visit, coupled with the Diwali holiday, has forced people out of town, indoors or beyond security barriers.

As I drove to a local television studio to be interviewed about the president’s trip, I passed several signs, some with large painted portraits, welcoming Obama to town. But as I quickly learned, there is a great deal of frustration and in some cases anger behind all the red carper treatment.
The Diwali holiday is India’s version of Christmas. So, closing up shops or blocking access to shoppers is not sitting well with some small business owners. “Hardly anyone’s come to my shop today,” said a man selling handbags.

Rahul Bose, one of India’s top actors and a social activist lamented the bad timing of President Obama’s visit. Appearing along with me on CNN IBN, Bose vented that it shut the city down during the festive season. But some would argue that a presidential visit brings along millions of dollars in hotel rooms and other services and goods related to the thousands of people supporting the president and the hundreds of journalists covering him.

And to be sure, not everyone is raining on Mr. Obama’s parade. Restaurant owner Mehru Kadkhodki, told CNN’s Mallika Kapur, that he expects to be impacted “a little bit,” but he appeared to be taking it all in stride. “We can always make it up another day. We are glad he is coming you see.”

Topics: India • President Obama • The News

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