Trump Is Only Visiting India 'Because He's Obsessed With Crowd Sizes,' Tweets Top Bollywood Movie Director

A prominent Indian filmmaker has criticized Donald Trump's first official visit to India, suggesting that the only reason the U.S. president went there was to boast about how many people would turn up to his rally.

The U.S. president addressed a cheering crowd in the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the home state of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump praised Modi, sitting to his right in Monday's rally, as the "pride of Gujarat." Paying tribute to Modi's rise from cafeteria worker to prime minister, the U.S. president said he was "living proof that with hard work and devotion Indians can accomplish anything."

Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, rally, India, US
President Donald Trump shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on February 24, 2020. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

However, Ram Gopal Varma, who is renowned for his work in Telugu cinema and Bollywood, questioned Trump's intentions ahead of the rally, referring to the trip's cost and whether it would be reciprocated.

He tweeted to his 3.9 million followers: "The only reason @realdonaldtrump is coming to India is because he's obsessed with crowd sizes which he can brag about till he dies...I hope for his sake the 10 million will turn up..But knowing him he will just lie and say 15 million turned up."

We Indians spent thousands of crores in welcoming @realDonaldTrump , but will Americans spend even thousands of rupees in welcoming @narendramodi to the US ? That says about America and not India ...Just saying !

— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) February 24, 2020

The only reason @realdonaldtrump is coming to india is because he’s obsessed with crowd sizes which he can brag about till he dies ..I hope for his sake the 10 million will turn up..But knowing him he will just lie and say 15 million turned up..Just saying!

— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) February 24, 2020

Last September, around 50,000 people gathered in Houston, Texas, in a rally dubbed "Howdi Modi," in which the leaders exchanged warm words.

Varma also tweeted: "Spending tonnes of money to impress visiting dignitaries is a throw back to the feudal era which America has done away with long ago ..But our inherent slave culture will never allow us to do that ..just saying !" Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Indian Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma
Indian Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma gestures as he addresses media representatives during a promotional event for the film "Veerapan" in Chennai on May 21, 2016. He has tweeted criticism of the visit to India of President Donald Trump. ARUN SANKAR/Getty Images

In his speech to the crowd at Ahmedabad, Trump referred to the cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda, and the ancient Hindu texts, the Vedas, although as the BBC noted, he mispronounced them as the "Vestas."

Adding to the bonhomie, beforehand Trump retweeted a meme widely shared on Twitter in which the faces of the president and the first lady were superimposed onto characters in the hit Bollywood movie "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion."

Addressing #NamasteTrump with my friend @realdonaldtrump. Join live! https://t.co/yzeG58lS8S

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 24, 2020

Trump has voiced concern at tariffs that India has imposed on products and hopes that his two-day visit will open up trade opportunities, boost the president's foreign image in election year and net an arms deal worth $3 billion, Reuters reported.

Before the trip, Trump tweeted: "We're not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot."

While Trump had incorrectly said before the trip that millions would greet him, he did get a warm welcome on the streets of Ahmedabad, The Washington Post reported.

The president went to the ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati river where India's independence leader Mahatma Gandhi once lived, and his trip will also take in a visit to the Taj Mahal.