- By P.J. Aroon
Chairman of Indian conglomerate TATA group, Ratan Tata, left, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, right, share a light moment during a meeting with Indian business leaders in Mumbai on July 18. Clinton arrived in India hoping to deepen strategic ties with an emerging player on the world stage in security, trade, arms control, and climate change. Clinton also paid tribute to the nearly 200 people who died in last November’s terrorist siege of Mumbai.
While wearing a thread necklace, Clinton claps to a song sung by volunteers of the NGO Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) during a visit to its premises in Mumbai on July 18. She first came into contact with the association of women artisans in 1995, when she was first lady. She said, “It is absolutely undeniable that the progress of women is directly linked to the progress of any country. The more women have the rights, education, employment opportunities, access to credit, role in decision making in family and community, the more development will take place.”
The artisans presented her a handmade multicolored quilt. Clinton bought a jacket and scarf for Chelsea and an orange blouse dyed with pomegranate for herself.
Clinton, watched by Indian TV journalist Arnab Goswami, left, and Indian Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, gestures during an interactive education discussion in Mumbai on July 18.
Clinton waves to the media as Indian Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar (in white) looks on during a visit to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi on July 19. Clinton arrived in the Indian capital hoping to narrow a wide gap with her hosts on fighting climate change.
A garlanded Clinton shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh upon her arrival at the ITC Green Centre Building in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on July 19. A friendly as things look in this photo, discussions between two became heated later on.
Clinton ended the day at the Delhi Haat artisans bazaar, where she bought a few handicraft pieces. She ate dinner at the Maurya Sheraton hotel’s Bukhara restaurant. Husband Bill and daughter Chelsea dined there in 2000, and the restaurant has two items named after them: the vegetarian Chelsea Platter, featuring the foods Chelsea liked, and the nonvegetarian Presidential Platter, featuring items that Bill ordered.
Clinton said the next day, “I have long been an admirer of India. … I feel very much at home here. I eat way too much of the food at every chance I get. I have to go on a diet when I get back home — back to carrots and celery.”
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gestures while talking with Clinton in New Delhi on July 20. Clinton hoped to seal a defense pact boosting U.S. arms sales to India in talks that should also see agreement on the siting of two U.S.-built nuclear reactors.
She also held a question-and-answer session with university students in New Delhi. She said the entertainment industry can distort how people in one country view those in another, saying to a laughing audience, “If Hollywood and Bollywood were how we all lived our lives, that would surprise me. … And yet it’s often the way our cultures are conveyed, isn’t it? … People watching a Bollywood movie in some other part of Asia think everybody in India is beautiful and they have dramatic lives and happy endings. And if you were to watch American TV and our movies you’d think that we don’t wear clothes and we spend all our time fighting with each other.”
Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi shakes hands with Clinton at a meeting in New Delhi on July 20. Gandhi is the widow of assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and daughter-in-law of the late Indira Gandhi, India’s first woman prime minister.
Photos, top to bottom: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images, INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images, INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images, PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images, TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images, PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images, PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images