US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump on Monday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi between 1917 and 1930 during India's freedom struggle.
When asked to leave a note in the visitor’s book, Donald Trump wrote, “To my great friend Prime Minister Modi - Thank you for this wonderful visit”
The note, which made no mention of Gandhi, was also signed by Melania.
Social media, however, was quick to point out the sharp contrast between Trump’s note and the message left by former US President Barack Obama who visited the ashram in 2015.
Obama, the first black American President, had echoed the words of Civil Rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
“What Dr Martin Luther King Jr said then remains true today. 'The spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in the spirit of love and peace- among all people and nations.” Obama had written in the note on January 25, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached the ashram a few minutes earlier, showed Trump and the US First Lady the 'Hriday Kunj', a room inside the ashram where Gandhi and his wife Kasturba lived.
Modi explained the importance of this place in India's freedom struggle.
During the visit, Trump and Melania also tried their hands at the traditional khadi spinning wheel, also known as charkha. Melania also helped Trump in weaving khadi on the charkha.
The Trumps were in the ashram for around 15 minutes.
Modi also presented "three wise monkeys," a larger version of the one which originally belonged to Mahatma Gandhi, as a memento to the US President.
Trump and Modi then resumed their roadshow en route to the Motera stadium.
(With PTI inputs)