Web Column of Melvin Durai

President Bush recently spent two days in India, prompting
an estimated 100 million people to take to the streets to
protest his policies. Many carried banners calling him the
world’s biggest terrorist and some really bad names in
Hindi.

“Welcome to India, Mr. President,” U.S. ambassador David
Mulford said, shaking Bush’s hand in New Delhi. “You’re
going to like it here. Your approval rating is higher here
than in America. Indians absolutely love you.”

“They love me?” Bush asked. “But 100 million of them are
rioting and calling me bad names. I’m afraid to see what
they’d do if they hated me.”

“Don’t take it the wrong way,” the ambassador said. “It’s
only 100 million Indians. The other 90 percent absolutely
love you. They adore you. ”

“So you think I’m safe here?” Bush asked, visibly relieved.
“No one will shoot me?”

“Very safe here,” the ambassador said. “As long as you
didn’t bring Mr. Cheney with you.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the reports of 100
million protestors were greatly exaggerated. “I’m not
disagreeing that 100 million people were on the streets,” he
said, “but most of them were simply waiting for the bus. And
what looked like a riot to foreign journalists was just our
usual traffic.”

Upendra Kumar, a Bangalore man who helped organize the
protests, agreed with Singh’s assessment, adding that the
protests would have been more effective if all banners and
signs had been spellchecked. Indeed, one protestor, shown on
TV networks worldwide, carried a sign that said, “Go home,
Amrican terrierist.” Another displayed a banner that said,
“George W. Bush: world’s biggest tourist.”

Despite the protests, Bush’s visit was a resounding success.
He and Singh reached an agreement to share nuclear
technology and expertise. “I feel very confident about India
having weapons of mass destruction,” Bush said. “This is a
peaceful country that loves all its neighbors.”

To underscore the point, Bush visited a memorial to Mahatma
Gandhi and praised the leader’s philosophy of nonviolence.
“He has had a great influence on me and the rest of
America,” Bush said. “It is because of him and his
principles that we have chosen not to invade more countries.
We are keeping our nonviolence to a minimum. I mean, our
violence. You know what I mean.”

Singh took Bush on a four-hour trip to the southern city of
Hyderabad. They stopped at a high-tech center after Bush
expressed a strong desire to “visit all the American jobs.”

Singh told Bush that most of the jobs at the center had been
outsourced from America in the last five years. “You mean I
created all these jobs,” Bush said, beaming from ear to ear.
“And to think the Democrats say I haven’t done anything for
the economy.”

As he left India for Pakistan, Bush said he hoped to foster
economic and political development that would make India’s
neighbor “a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab
world.” Bush later corrected himself, telling reporters that
he meant to say “the Muslim world.”

“I know that all Muslim countries are not Arabic,” he said.
“And I also know that all Arab countries are not Muslimic.”

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Scott McClellan,
hoping to prevent another round of protests in the Muslim
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