Modi, Kerry warm hug indicator of relations

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel January 12, 2015 12:57

Modi, Kerry warm hug indicator of relations


Gandhinagar, Jan 12  US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the inaugural of the Vibrant Gujarat global investment summit well after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim had been seated and the function had started. As Kerry walked up the stage, Modi got up from his seat to welcome him.

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Modi and Kerry did not just shake hands as world leaders generally do. Both gave each other a warm hug as the others, mostly industry captains, business leaders and CEOs, applauded. Kerry and Modi spoke to each other briefly as Gujarat Governor O.P. Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel looked on. In his speech later, Kerry said he was happy to be in the home state of Modi, whom he described as a visionary leader.

Kerry pointed out that US President Barack Obama’s visit to India for the Jan 26 Republic Day Parade was a first for any US president.

“This is also the first time ever that a US president has visited one country twice in his tenure,” Kerry said. The warmth Kerry and Modi showed and Obama’s impending visit are clear signs of warming relations between the US and India.

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Big applause

The biggest and almost continuous applause during the summit inaugural was not for John Kerry, Ban Ki-moon, Jim Yong Kim or others. The honour went to Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

Tobgay spoke just before Modi but was able to generate a lot of interest among those present. He spoke in English and near fluent Hindi and connected well with everyone. He spoke about Bhutan being a tiny Himalayan country and, while tucked away between giants China and India, offering abundant natural resources, tranquility and quality of life.

Tobgay spoke about the Gross Domestic Happiness being paramount instead of the world’s race for higher GDP. The way he delivered his address, with facts about Bhutan, had the whole hall at the Mahatma Mandir complex applauding him.

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British minister Lord Livingstone too had lighter moments in his speech. He thanked Indian industrial giant Tata Sons for giving Britain and the world the Jaguar-Land Rover brand of luxury cars. He had the gathering in splits when he remarked that most of the laws and regulations the Indian government was grappling with and trying to remove were actually made and implemented during the British rule in India. “Now we are helping the (Indian) government to remove these,” he said.

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Mastercard international’s CEO Ajay Banga pointed out that he was a living example of ‘Make in India’, the slogan coined by Prime Minister Modi. “I was born in India and studied here (IIM Ahmedabad) and worked in India for 15 years. So I was made in India. Then I moved (to the US) and have been there for the last 15 years. I was exported there, as most Made in India things are,” Banga said.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel January 12, 2015 12:57