Delhi’s international airport was closed for two hours yesterday morning because President Obama is visiting India. He’s wasn’t however in the country and is not arriving for another four days, but everything is being rehearsed down to the finest detail, even closing the airspace around the capital.
That is partly because of intense and almost suffocating [...]
An essential skill for being a successful head of government is to manage the troublemakers in your own party. David Cameron is failing to do that now with the anti-European Union wing of Britain’s Conservative Party, but Tony Blair did it successfully in the late-1990s when he curbed the power of trade unions and left-wingers [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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