Friday, June 10, 2016

Narendra Modi, India's diplomatic ambitions, and the US Congress speech

India has traditionally been a non-aligned nation. It has neither been a very close friend of any major power, nor has antagonised anyone unnecessarily. However, developments over the past two decades in global politics, especially the Sino-Pakistan all-weather friendship in India's backyard, created serious threats for Indian interests not just in the sub-continent but globally. Hence, the Indian establishment has taken up a proactive global diplomatic relationship-building on multiple fronts. This picked up pace post the inauguration of the Modi government in 2014. 

Narendra Modi, PM Modi, India, Pakistan, China, MTCR, NSG, Sandeep Manudhane, SM sir, PT education, PT's IAS Academy, Indore,  IAS, MBA, IIM, Civil Services
Namaste, from the emerging superpower
Multiple energetic initiatives followed, not the least of them being Prime Minister Modi leading the global charge personally. Despite constant ridicule he faced at home from a shrill media, and multiple WhatsApp memes, labelling him 'a visiting PM India has', he has continued undaunted. For all that, the results are beginning to show in a big way now, beginning with India gaining a positive edge for MTCR membership, further strengthening its case for a berth in the NSG, vital to our long-term Uranium needs.

In this background, PM Modi delivered a speech to the joint session of the US Congress on 08-June 2016, which summed up his multi-directional efforts. Undoubtedly, to my mind at least, it was one of his best speeches. I share a few pointers as to why it is so -

  1. Brilliantly delivered while controlling a lot of his innate speaker aggression [ has evolved as a speaker ]
  2. Slowly built the tempo, while intelligently invoking the best call for democracy ever - Lincoln's Gettysburg address [ Lincoln consistently remains the most revered icon in America ]
  3. Gave the link between Indian greats and USA - Vivekananda, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee etc. Each example had a domestic political reason too, hence well-served. [ An eye on coming State elections in India ]
  4. Constantly reminded everyone of the sheer size of India, the strongest reason they can't miss us (woohoo, there's 1300000000 of us now; although he spoke of 125 crores) [ played on inherent strength ]
  5. Biggest and Oldest democracies - the key link was repeated in multiple ways (so the natural outcast is China), and reminded that administrations change but policy remains steady [ bracketing China using tools they never can! ]
  6. Was dressed in a visibly Indian attire - maintains originality while using a non-native tongue in a foreign land [ Doing business on his terms ]
  7. Did his main job once he had the audience in rapt attention - blasted the incubation centre of terrorism in India's neighbourhood + indicated India's interest in a safe Afghanistan where the US sacrificed so much + spoke of his pet infra projects in India + praised & elaborated upon the range of Indian talent in American society [Take this!]
  8. Used humour in a nice way - I face a harmonious Parliament like you do!, We still haven't applied for IPR on Yoga!, Indians do well even in American spelling bees! - these were very effective reminders of the duplicity of American attitude in trade and politics [ Make them laugh, make them yours ]
  9. Stayed confident throughout despite visible stumbles as his natural flavour is in Hindi [ Strength of character not style alone ]
  10. Repeatedly reminded the audience of the unbelievable diversity of India, and of the fact that despite that we have stayed a functioning democratic republic [ Wager your money on us - we won’t let you down ]

There have been great orators and speakers who've addressed from the same platform. But the evolution of Modi the PM into a confident global statesman who relentlessly strives for hard results is no mean feat. He may not have his way entirely with the Americans, but he makes a mark that’s not easy to forget. Way to go, Sir. All strength to you.

Here is the speech for your reference - 

Jai Hind!
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Mayank said...

Our PM has projected India as a rising global power and in long term it will also help in registering a permanent seat at UNSC. Now the message is clear that either you can love us or hate us but can't ignore us. Jai Hind!

rajsuryan said...

Very well analysed, sir. BTW, couldnt see you on twitter.

Seven Corporation said...

Perfectly and precisely analysed it

Unknown said...

After the Cold War (which was over after the collapse of U.S.S.R in 1991) the world became multipolar with America as a Superpower. American currency is reserved for World Trade. Only America has Blue-Ocean Navy in the world. There are many other facts which show the current position of America in the world. Today Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi deliver such an outstanding speech in joint session of U.S Congress and project India as an important part of the world by giving the references of:-

1. Democratic system of India.
2. Great Indian Personalities and their works.
3. Share of Indians in development of America.
4. The large population of India, which can be a demographic dividend.

All these show the scope of India in future and try to make it a centre of attraction for investors. That help
1. To become India an industrial hub
2. In Job creation
3. To push poor Indians above Poverty Line.
4. Success of Make In India program.
5. Development of India. Etc
Although it will take time, but India has no other option, either use its huge manpower as demographic dividend by doing efforts and become a Superpower in 30-40 years, or do nothing and its manpower ended as demographic disaster. Obviously each and everyone will choose first option. The acts of present government show that we are in right direction and will reach our destination soon.

Unknown said...

Prashant Garg said....

When we listen speech very cleverly it clearly seen that Modi ji tried to sell our best resource ie is human resource, soft power, cultural etc. from past we are not good alliance with USA after 1991 we tried to move but recently it is more important because
(1) Member of NSG(Nuclear supplier group)
(2) permanent seat in security council
(3) investment
(4) technology import
(5) China issue

Now Using name of Dr. Ambedkar is clearly seen for UP election politics, Terrorist issue Pkistaan and China by commenting good or bad terrorist. Branding of Yoga. Commenting on the copyright or patent issue. These are remarkable.

Anonymous said...

The light of democracy was started from US. Now India is the biggest democracy in the world and our leader Shree Narendra Modi present our cultural, historical and economical relation between India and US in US congress.

Unknown said...

एक अदभुत प्रतिभा और गजब का आत्मविश्वास मोदी जी
के विचारों और कार्यों दोनों में दिखता है।
जिसके के कारण सहर्ष ही लोग उनकी तरफ आकर्षित हो
जाते हैं।
भारत के प्रधानमंत्री के तौर उनके कार्य देश को नयी
उंचाई देने वाले हैं।

Unknown said...

नमस्ते सर
बहुत प्रयास करने के बाद भी अमेरिकी चुनाव की
पद्धति समझ नहीं पाया और ज्यादातर लोगों से पूछने पर
पता चला कि ज्यादातर लोग इसे नहीं समझ पाते ।
youtube विडियो,विकिपीडिया और कई अन्य माध्यमों का
प्रयोग करने के बात भी इसका कांसेप्ट समझ नहीं आया।
कृपया सर अमेरिकी रास्त्रपति चुनाव की पद्धति पर भी लेख
लिखें ।

Test said...

These were some really nice comments. Thanks for reading and commenting!