Modi's US visit proves media is wrong about him
Some groups find it hard to see the PM honoured as pro-development on the global stage.
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Narendra Modi appears as the first expansive leader to dramatically take India's cause to the world, particularly to the United States, since the independence of the country nearly 70 years ago. Modi has highlighted India's willingness to work with the global economy in a way that is unparalleled and indicates a major shift in national policy and national identity.
Prior to Modi, India was largely contracted within its own national and regional issues and seemed to lack the confidence to project itself on the world stage. Its leaders were afraid of any real economic engagement and were not open to the global economy.
India's leftist politics have long kept it aloof from the rest of the world, especially the USA. Even today India's leftists do not want the country to reach out to the world, but prefer to keep it undeveloped and uninformed, perhaps hoping that India's voters will not take a global or nationalistic view and get caught in local rivalries only.
The main previous economic reforms were done under the Vajpayee BJP era. The Congress party reluctantly continued some of these, but stopped most after 2009, preferring to return to an older socialist agenda. The party's strident anti-business rhetoric has not helped the country, though it seems unwilling to give that up even today.
Modi, on the other hand, represents an effort to raise all the people in India, from which the business sector cannot be excluded. He realises that India cannot rise up unless it engages the world and has good business and communication relationships globally. The new technology, which is global in nature, is probably the best means to take all of India out of poverty.
India's global economic outreach is a necessary counterpart for economic development within the country, as no country exists in isolation today. The idea of some political groups in India to develop the country first and then reach out to the world is contrary to the world situation and can only take the country backwards.
A new innovative India
Modi's second visit to the USA may be more important than his first and shows a deepening connection on many levels - and an increasing popularity for his message, with a tremendous response from both the business and Indian-American communities.
The need for new entrepreneurs and start-up companies in India is the key to its success in years to come and to its global impact. This has been the highlight of Modi's visit, where he has actively engaged the new technology in all of its forms, particularly in Silicon Valley.
The US economy encourages entrepreneurship and allows for people to be innovative. That is why the US remains ahead in the world in terms of economics and research, a fact that Modi has realised. The socialist world did not allow this, especially India's stifling bureaucracy that still does not want to loosen its grip on the nation.
It is a new business world today, no longer the old heavy industries, but the high tech and communication realms that link the world together. In this new era, India has an important place and can make a great contribution. Now Modi is working with world high-tech companies to bring the internet to the villages of India, so that all groups in the country can benefit from it.
Modi's travels break the anti-Modi images that we find in the Indian media. Attacking Modi as anti-progressive and dictatorial in India, such groups find it hard to see Modi honoured as pro-development and pro-communication on the global stage.
No doubt opposition political leaders in India would like to be where Modi is in the world today, but they have lacked the vision to do so, though they have had many opportunities in the past.