Donald Trump isn’t really wrong about India’s air being “filthy”

Facts, for once.
Facts, for once.
Image: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Indian social media is hysterical over US president Donald Trump calling India’s air “filthy.” But then, that is a fact.

“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy,” Trump said during a debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden. “I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly,” he said.

India, and its capital New Delhi in particular, has been grappling with particulate matter pollution for several years now. Despite that, poor air quality around the months of October, November, and December has become an annual affair.

Today (Oct. 23), the air quality in several parts of Delhi is in the “hazardous” category.

A map showing Delhi's hazardous air quality index
Delhi’s air quality has become drastically worse in the past week.
Image: Screenshot/

Trump’s comment about air pollution is also not the first time Delhi’s noxious air is being discussed with reference to a US president. When former president Barack Obama visited India in January 2015 as the chief guest for the Republic Day parade, Bloomberg had reported that Obama could lose six hours of his life spending three days in the city.