By Vijay phanshikar
When Mr. Narendra Modi stood before the elite audience at the World Economic Forum at the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland, the world listened in rapt attention. Shahjahanpur, April 18 (PTI) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, on Wednesday, that in the last five years of the Modi Government, the country has earned respect across the world. ...
THOUGH the statement was made during an election rally, its importance cannot be underestimated. In brief sentences, Mr. Rajnath Singh spoke of a truth that no one can deny -- that during the regime of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, India earned greater global respect than ever before. Of course, he cited various examples of the growing Indian influence or acceptance across the world. He also cited the surgical strikes by the Armed Forces or the airstrikes that eliminated hundreds of terrorists or the successful test-firing of anti-satellite missile, the leap-frogging of the Indian economy to the sixth position globally, to make his point. But India’s influence across the world grew also because of the global connect Mr. Narendra Modi achieved right from Day One of his regime when he assumed office in the summer of 2014.
It is this connect that should be remembered while highlighting the actual influence India exercised around the world. For the dots Mr. Modi joined were the countless lakhs of Indian people -- the Indian diaspora, so to say -- that have spread in nooks and corners of the world. It was Mr. Modi -- and his team of advisers -- who first identified the diaspora as a very critical constituency that needed to be nursed not just for political reasons but also for patriotic reasons. Through the diaspora, the Prime Minister achieved a global connect with various nations whose respective national leaderships could not ignore the presence of so many Indians in so many critical positions that could impact the public affairs in those countries. Mr. Modi realised correctly that through the diaspora, he could step on the world centrestage.
Modi, Modi, Modeeeee ...! These chants rent the air at several places around the world as Mr. Narendra Modi stood in front of crowds of non-resident Indians that jammed prestigious auditoria and parks and gardens from the United States to Europe to Japan to Australia and elsewhere. The prestigious audiences of Indian achievers lapped up every word the Prime Minister uttered highlighting what India stood for, what she was capable of achieving, what the metaphor of India meant to the world as a whole. For, it was for the first time that an Indian leader had sought to connect with them, identify with them, and acknowledge their contribution to the motherland’s progress and prosperity even though they sat thousands of miles away from India. “You are an India away from India”, Mr. Modi would say to thunderous applause and Modi, Modi. Modi chants.
Such an emotional connect with the diaspora had never been achieved by any previous leader of India, whether in Government or outside it. And as that connect got established firmly, the Governments of those lands took notice, and treated not just Mr. Modi the person but also India as a nation with greater respect. But then, wasn’t it Mr. Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, whose passage to the United States was blocked by denying him the Visa by way of an ugly smear campaign?! And was it not a fact that those lined up against him described him as Maut Ke Saudagar (Purveyors of death), referring to his alleged masterminding of the infamous Gujarat riots? The US Government, too, denied him the Visa, thus writing a dark chapter in its diplomatic history.
Things, however, changed quickly and Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi created new history by proving to the world that there was an India across the world, away from India, and that the world would have to take notice. It was a unique patriotic strategy that made the positive difference.
But that was only one part of the bigger story. The other part was Mr. Modi’s active participation in global diplomacy in a bold demonstration of India’s strengths. That was something no previous leader had done to such a fantastic effect. He stood tall and straight, shoulder-to-shoulder with world leaders, engaged them in personal relation and got them on the side of India on all critical issues. This picture offered a sharp contrast to the well-circulated picture of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh bending down from his waist before Chinese leader Mr. Wu Jintao at some international venue.
The world did not miss the contrast. The world took notice of the new, emerging leader demonstrating complete faith in the country’s economic, diplomatic, and military strengths and his own ability to manouevre all the plus points to India’s benefit. He engaged other leaders on equal terms, and ensured that they got the message in right spirit -- mostly of cooperation but even confrontation when necessary.
So, when Mr. Narendra Modi stood before the elite audience at the World Economic Forum at the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland, the world listened in rapt attention. With outside temperatures well below Minus-50 degrees, Mr. Modi created an unusual warmth in the global minds by asserting that India knew the meaning of the metaphor of globalisation better than any other country because tradition taught her what the upanishadic verse said: ... Tyena Tyaktena Bhunjitha (To use the common universal wealth in a shared manner). The confidence in his words, the calmess on his face, and his knowledge what India should mean to the world and how to make that awareness happen communicated to the global leadership that they must take the Prime Minister of India in total seriousness.
This is just one of the facets of the global connect Mr. Narendra Modi achieved in five years.