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Narendra Modi merges myth and reality to say plastic surgery fixed Ganesh’s elephant head, Battle of Ideas

Narendra Modi merges myth and reality to say plastic surgery fixed Ganesh’s elephant head

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has caused some consternation and controversy by saying to an audience of doctors and scientists last weekend that plastic surgery and genetic science existed and were in use thousands of years ago in ancient India. That, he said at the dedication of a hospital in Mumbai on October 25, was [...]

By | Battle of Ideas, The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 30 October 2014 at 4:20 pm

Narendra Modi strengthens political grip with Indian state election wins, The Foreign Desk

Narendra Modi strengthens political grip with Indian state election wins

Narendra Modi and his fellow leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party believe they are on a ten-year mission to turn India into a successful world power with a strong nationalist base. Today (Oct 19) they have put two more building blocks in place with two state assembly election victories in Maharashtra and Haryana, where they [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 19 October 2014 at 4:14 pm

Narendra Modi wows the US and sweeps the streets – now for the hard part, The Foreign Desk

Narendra Modi wows the US and sweeps the streets – now for the hard part

Just back from a tumultuous five-day visit to the US, Narendra Modi yesterday launched his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) by sweeping up rubbish in Valmiki Basti, a Delhi neighbourhood where Mahatma Gandhi, once stayed. It was the father of the nation’s birth anniversary, and a public holiday at the beginning of the long festival weekend [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 3 October 2014 at 4:49 pm

India and China agree deals despite border face-off, The Foreign Desk

India and China agree deals despite border face-off

India and China’s leaders have successfully agreed in Delhi on plans for economic and other co-operation despite over 1,000 troops from each side facing off against each other in Ladakh on the two countries’ disputed border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), 15,000ft up in the Himalayan mountains,
China is to invest $20bn in [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 18 September 2014 at 5:15 pm

Pressure on Narendra Modi to deliver after impressive oratory at Delhi’s Red Fort, The Foreign Desk

Pressure on Narendra Modi to deliver after impressive oratory at Delhi’s Red Fort

Narendra Modi has yet to show that his government can make a significant difference to the way that India is run and performs, but this morning he impressed critics as well as supporters with his first Independence Day speech as prime minister from the ramparts of Delhi’s majestic Red Fort.
Breaking with tradition, he ad-libbed his [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Friday, 15 August 2014 at 5:39 pm

Narendra Modi makes his first big prime ministerial speech in English, The Foreign Desk

Narendra Modi makes his first big prime ministerial speech in English

Narendra Modi yesterday made his first major speech in English since becoming prime minister – a day after I pointed out on this blog, and in a Times of India column, that he spoke it fluently in a 2001 television debate, and wondered why he rarely does so now. He was addressing scientists after the [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 1 July 2014 at 11:20 am

Modi spoke good English in 2001 – and looked like a future leader, The Foreign Desk

Modi spoke good English in 2001 – and looked like a future leader

In September 2001, I met Narendra Modi, India’s new and controversial prime minister, on an Indian tv programme called The Big Fight just after the 9/11 terror attacks in the US. I was struck by his powerful presence, his conviction, and even some tolerance when he talked about “my Muslim friends” and urged them to [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Sunday, 29 June 2014 at 10:21 am

NaMo choosing his Cabinet – wants ten years to change India, The Foreign Desk

NaMo choosing his Cabinet – wants ten years to change India

Narendra Modi has five years till the next general election to show that he can get India moving but NaMo, as the Indian media call him, has said over the weekend that he needs ten years to transform the country – which he is likely to get if progress goes relatively well in the first [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 10:27 am

Modi’s middle class volunteers flooded Varanasi to get him elected, The Foreign Desk

Modi’s middle class volunteers flooded Varanasi to get him elected

If the number of volunteers working for an election campaign is any measure of likely success, Narendra Modi is romping home today to a tumultuous victory in the Hindus’ sacred city of Varanasi, where voting is taking place amid tight security at the end of five weeks of polling across the country in India’s general [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Monday, 12 May 2014 at 8:09 am

Priyanka Gandhi steps up as India election din eclipses debate, The Foreign Desk

Priyanka Gandhi steps up as India election din eclipses debate

The quality of India’s general election campaigning, which ends on Saturday, has deteriorated into a slanging match between rival politicians. It began weeks ago as a relatively constructive debate between the growth policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, and the sops and entitlement approach of the Congress Party espoused by Rahul [...]

By | The Foreign Desk | Thursday, 8 May 2014 at 1:15 pm

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