Protect this man from coconuts!
An American president visiting a foreign country needs to bring along some staff, equipment, and a protection detail. Brarack Obama seems to need a little more staff and protection than most presidents. He needs 800 rooms worth of staff and requires a fleet headed by a carrier for protection.
The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday.
Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi.
He will also be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, which will patrol the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast during his two-day stay there beginning Saturday.
He even needs a tunnel to get to a museum.
Barack Obamaâ€™s planned visit to Mani Bhavan â€”the Gandhi museum â€” on November 6, soon after he reaches Mumbai. On Monday, US secret agents visited the museum to plan Obamaâ€™s security detail.
They were accompanied by officers of Mumbai Police and civic officials of the D ward (where Mani Bhavan is located). While inspecting the route and the buildings lining up the route to the museum, the Americans detected a skyscraper near Peddar road and also found the area to be highly populated.
Since it is difficult to monitor such a congested area, they came up with a quick solution which left the Indians accompanying them amazed: A bomb-proof over-ground tunnel â€” to be installed by US military engineers in just an hour.
The tunnel would be a kilometre long and measure 12ft by 12ft â€” enough to let Obamaâ€™s cavalcade pass through. The tunnel would be centrally air-conditioned, fitted with close-circuit television cameras, and will be heavily guarded at every point, including, of course, its entry and exit.
Even with his own personal tunnel, there remained a coconut threat to be neutralized.
While President Obama may have taken one on the jaw in Tuesdayâ€™s elections, officials in India are seeing to it he doesnâ€™t take one on the head during his upcoming visit.
City officials in Mumbai have ordered the removal of all the coconuts from the trees around a museum dedicated to Gandhi for fear one could come loose and fall on the Presidentâ€™s head.
“We told the authorities to remove the dry coconuts from trees near the building,” Meghshyam Ajgaonkar, executive secretary of the museum, told the BBC. “Why take a chance?”
Isn’t all this getting a little out of hand?