AHMEDABAD – Bussa Krishna first began worshipping Donald Trump four years ago when the US president appeared to him in a dream.
Since then, after a run of good fortune, the Indian real estate broker has transformed his modest home into a shrine to the US leader, who is due in India on Monday for a two-day visit.
“My love for him has transformed into reverence. That has given me immense happiness. Hence instead of praying to other gods, I started praying to him,” Krishna told Reuters.
Krishna, who lives alone in a village in the southern state of Telangana, has erected a life-size statue to Trump in his yard, while his walls are scrawled with the leader’s name — to the annoyance of his extended family.
“I am facing difficulties because of my relatives,” Krishna said. “They tell me that I am disgracing them in society. I told them that just like you believe and worship Shiva, I believe and worship Trump. Neither of us can stop the other from doing so.”
Krishna is not the only Indian who reveres Trump.
In New Delhi, members of the Hindu Sena, a right-wing fringe group, have begun rehearsing a welcome song in his honour.
Its members say Trump shares their hatred of “Islamic extremism”, and it has drawn attention for boisterous celebrations of his birthday, including pretending to feed cake to photos of his face.
“We like Donald Trump because he openly spoke about India’s feelings,” Hindu Sena leader Vishnu Gupta said.
“He openly said that he would eliminate Islamic terrorism from its roots, that is why I am his fan.”
Trump, who like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a reputation as an unabashed populist who shows his enemies no mercy, is making his first visit to India.
Trump’s itinerary starts on February 24. He is expected to be feted by some 110,000 people in Modi’s home state of Gujarat when he inaugurates the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium, the world’s biggest cricket venue, in a “Namaste Trump”rally.
From resurfacing roads and planting palm trees along the streets to building a wall apparently to hide slums, the Gujarat government is pulling out all the stops to impress U.S. President.
Donald Trump will be in Ahemdabad just for three hours and this will cost Gujarat exchequers around Rs 85 crore. The authorities in Ahemdabad is expected to spend between Rs 80 crore and Rs 85 crore ($11-12 million) on the preparation of Trump’s three-hour visit to Gujarat. This is equivalent to about 1.5 per cent of the annual budget for the home ministry in Gujarat.
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