Whether PM Narendra Modi has actually maximised the returns out of the whopping 317 crores that he invested last year in his travel tales is debatable; but his performance overseas and its consequences have far surpassed those of his predecessors.
A tightly-packed schedule, memorable speeches and bonds established with world leaders that go beyond diplomatic niceties, Modi makes his presence noticeable wherever he goes and believes in direct public engagement, making India a known country in many distant parts of the world – written Anushree Kanoi
BlabberCat, after much prowling and interrogating netizens from all over, compiles a list of the cool, bizarre and productive things that NaMo did last year as he painted the world red –
1. Weibo on-the-go
Modi went viral on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) days before he undertook his trip to the country, as he reached out to the locals there, and as sources point out, still continues to do so. His public outreach was massive, and the selfie with his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang was seen over 30 million people on the internet.
2. Nicely Gujju and kifayati
Modi travels with far less co-mates than the former Prime Ministers, and he slashed the staff travelling abroad with him to half. He has less than ten media-folks accompanying him, and manages to generate sufficient savings for the exchequer.
3. Public Relation majors
Many say that Manmohan Singh undertook almost the same number of trips as Modi, but in terms of visibility, Modi has always left imprints of his visits, in both India and abroad, alike.
Modi has focussed his foreign policies primarily on improving relations with India’s neighbouring countries, and to get the world to invest in India. While in the US, he met several American business leaders and invited them to be a part of the Make In India Programme. During his visit to Germany, he pitched the vision of a competitive, confident and secure India, and urged the giant business houses out there to invest in India.
4. To travel and to be travelled to
Not only has Modi been a tourist on business to several known and unknown parts of the world, a major motive of his Government is to make India a world-class tourist destination. 2015 reflected the major changes that the visa system underwent, and the introduction of the visa-on-arrival for all leading countries of the world travelling to India was a masterstroke. Figures second the observed growth in the number of foreign tourist arrivals after the Modi Government ascended the democratic throne.
5. The articulate voice; an ambassador of goodwill
As he addressed the Madison Square stadium packed to its capacity with diaspora, he was at his oratorical best, and he whipped out quote after witty quote…
“Ever since I took this post, I have not taken a vacation even for fifteen minutes.”
“Previous governments used to boast about making laws. This law, that law. Well, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to get rid of as many old and useless laws as I can.”
…And when he concluded, he made the entire crowd of Indians, Americans, Indian Americans and everyone else chant, “bharat mata ki jai”. The crowd repeated twice, and he commented – “I’m the one who is shouting. You people can get much louder.”
Demonstrating a dynamic India that looks to the future with an expansive, global vision, Modi has shown the world a face and a side of the country that they weren’t aware of. He has a refined way of dealing with dignitaries, and has he travels, strengthening ties that were previously neglected, he causes other counties to stop, take notice and reciprocate.
It is being said that Modi will have cut down his flying drastically in 2016, and we can only hope that the home-front will too receive revolutionary speeches and policies, and not just so because they’d have been made on a rotating dais.