Justin Trudeau summarises widely-criticised India tour for Canadian press, calls it 'the trip to end all trips'

Over three months after Justin Trudeau's much criticised State trip to India, the Canadian prime minister gave a self-deprecating account of his India visit at the annual Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner in Ottawa, describing it as the "trip to end all trips".

Speaking at the annual dinner, Trudeau began his 15-minute speech with a slideshow titled "India Trip 2018 :(" — which began with an upside down map of India — to loud applause from the audience. "Let's rip off that band aid," he said, as he began his "very short summary" of his visit.

Trudeau joked about being received at the airport by Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Shekhawat, and not Prime Minister Narendra Modi or even a Cabinet as is usually the norm. This apparent snub by the Indian government was criticised both in national and international media.

The Canadian prime minister also joked about the criticism he received for overdoing traditional outfits that he wore during that eight-day visit.

Reacting to a picture of him with Infosys CEO Salil Parekh, Trudeau said, "Here I am, meeting with the CEO of Infosys — a company that for the record announced new investments in Canada, during the course of this trip. But you guys didn’t report on its because I was wearing a shirt and tie. Boring."

File image of Justin Trudeau. Reuters

File image of Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau. Reuters

Following this slide came a photograph of Trudeau dressed in a golden sherwani with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in a black suit. "Wow! One of us is seriously underdressed," Trudeau said. "How embarrassing for him!"

During the trip in February, Trudeau had toured through several states in the country and visited multiple places of political and historical significance. He went been to the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, Golden Temple in Amritsar and Jama Masjid in New Delhi, among many others.

He did meet Modi towards the end of the trip, in addition to meeting three state chief ministers: Gujarat's Vijay Rupani, Maharashtra's Devendra Fadnavis and Punjab's Amarinder Singh.

The "rocky" trip was widely criticised in Canadian media (see herehere and here for Toronto Sun's coverage) as well, with some saying  it threw "some unexpected light on the deep hidden mistrust creeping into Canada-India relations on his watch, which could destroy decades of patient diplomacy by both sides".

In conclusion, Trudeau said in his speech last week, "That was India, ladies and gentlemen. The trip to end all trips."

"Seriously, I told my team I'm not going anywhere ever again," he said.

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 08:04 AM

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