They did not creat this place yesterday or today. It has been around for some just renamed it today because a former peanut farmer from Plains. Ga., and the several hundred people who customarily accompany him, dropped by for a visit.
The name means literally "Carter Place," and if tomorrow or the next day the residents revert to calling their village Daulatur-Nasirabad, it is still Carter-Poori today.
Jimmy Carter liked that. He liked it that Morarji Desai, the Indian prime minister, asked him to make the visit. He liked the people, and like any politician, he liked especially the way they reacted to him.
From nearby villages, they raced across the fields to be here and see a president of the United States. They clustered together at the entrance of the village, and along its dusty paths, joining the Carter-Poori's 1,907 citizens, everyone of whom, it seemed, turned out for the event.
It was precisely 9 this morning, after a 32-minute drive to the southwest from New Delhi, that the President, Rosalynn Carter, the press, the security agents, the whole entourage, arrived at the gates to the village. Officialdom, as is the case in any presidential arrival anywhere, was the first greet them. The President and Mrs. Carter were given garlands and leis of marigolds, and on their foreheads they received a "tilak," a red mark said to convey the blessings of God on their lives.
Into the village they moved, Beneath a banner that proclaimed "welcome President Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter." It was the work of the Central Bank of India, which does not maintain a branch office here. This village, like so many throughout the sprawling subcontinent of India, is poor to its core, and if the government applied a little whitewash before the visit and swept the cow dung from the streets, it made no attempt to conceal the realty of life in Carter-Poori.
Inside the village, as Carter the campaigner reached out to greet the people, Prime Minister Desai became separated from the official party. Desai is a short man in his early 80s, extraordinarily well preserved, but he got last amid the towering American Secret Service agents and the television cameramen with mini-cameras strapped to their shoulders.
"Mr. prime minister, where are you, sir, where are you," one of his Indian guards shouted in the confusion.
By luck, Desai found himself shoved up against James Wooten of the New York Times, who was serving as the White House "pool reporter," covering the event for the other American correspondents. Wooten returned the prime minister to the President.
"You're going to have to stay close," Carter told him. "I can't see you."
On the party pressed, until they reached the residence of Bhim Singh, a one-room structure with straw cots to sleep on and a motorscooter outside.
Singh was on the back porch, where he demonstrated for the President an Indian process that transforms cow dung into methane gas through fermentation.
Sam Donaldson, the irrepressible White House correspondent for ABC television, asked Carter whether it was too late to include the process in the administration's pending national energy legislation.
"We still have some time for amendments," the President replied.
The visit lasted one hour and 15 minutes and it is likely to be the subject of legend and folklore here generations from now. It was the first of two visits that were added to the President's schedule after he left Washington on his journey halfway around the world and back.
The second newly scheduled visit, of course, is to Aswan, Egypt, where Carter is to meet with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. That could be the big news of this trip, for certainly it is central to what all the world yearns for - peace in the Middle East.
In some ways, however, the President's visit to Carter-Poori may have more to do with what Jimmy Carter is up to on his first extensive foreign trip. In Poland, with its Communist government, he talked a lot about freedom. In India, with all its problems of crushing poverty, he talked about the virtues of democracy. Like other presidents before him, he seems to be trying to bridge a gap between peoples, between democracy in the West and something other in the East, between the wealth of America and the poverty of Asia.
For an hour or so this morning in a dusty Indian village, the gaps may not have seemed so large, but they are not so easily bridged.
Moving through the village, Rosalynn Carter spotted a child nearby. She asked the child to come to her, but the child began to cry and move away. She tried again, and then a third time.
"Don't frighten her, Rosalynn," the President said to his wife.
They moved on and soon Carter found himself in the courtyard of a small village house, breathing air that was heavy with the odor of cow dung. He was led to an old blind woman, who was squatting against white courtyard wall.
"This is the President of the United States, who is the friend of all the world and who is your friend," the old woman was told by an Indian official.
Carter stared at the woman, reached out and touched her hand. The old woman did not move. Finally, she raised her head, as if to search for the person who had touched her.
"You see now how they live," Desai said.
"I see, I see, I understand," the President replied softly.
Then Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter turned away, walking down the path to their waiting limousine that would take them to Air Force One and the Middle East.