Posts tagged ‘Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’


Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think? – India Real Time – WSJ

Should Britain pay reparations to its former colonies, including India? An articulation of why the former holder of empire should make amends, or at least say sorry, for two centuries of colonial rule, has sent a video of Indian law maker Shashi Tharoor viral and opened up a debate in India.

In a 15 minute speech given during a debate at the Oxford Union in the U.K., telegenic and floppy-haired Mr. Tharoor, who is a former foreign minister and a onetime under-secretary-general at the United Nations, argued that “Britain’s rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.”

Speaking in favor of the motion, the opposition Congress party politician said that India’s share of the world economy when the British arrived was 23% but by the time they left it had slipped to 4% because “India had been governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain’s rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.”

“In fact, Britain’s industrial revolution was actually premised upon the de-industrialization of India,” he added.

The YouTube clip of the Congress politician’s oration has been watched more than 1.5 million times since it was uploaded last week, making it one of the most-viewed clips from the Oxford Union, a prestigious debate chamber at the University of Oxford.

A video of Jack Gleeson, an actor explaining to the chamber why he left the Game of Thrones, has over two million views as does one of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, impersonating Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Others to have appeared at in the red-walled debate chamber in the recent past include Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, former U.S. Senator John Edwards, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and onetime South African President F.W. De Klerk.

Indian social media lit up with praise for Mr. Tharoor’s eloquence and ability to take on the British establishment: Opposing speakers in the debate included Sir Richard Ottaway, a politician with the United Kingdom’s right-wing Conservative party.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to Congress’s rival the Bharatiya Janata Party, praised Mr. Tharoor for the speech.

via Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think? – India Real Time – WSJ.


India and China in wary dance as Xi Jinping prepares for South Asia trip | South China Morning Post

Xi Jinping will start his first South Asia tour with a visit to Beijing’s latest investment in Sri Lanka, a US$1.4-billion port city development to include a marina and a Formula One track – all just 250km from India’s coast.


The president’s trip to the site, next to a major Chinese-funded commercial port, will provide a vivid reminder of Beijing’s growing economic clout in India’s backyard ahead of his maiden visit to New Delhi next week.

Despite his hardline nationalist reputation, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved quickly to engage with traditional rival China after taking office in May, inviting Xi to India.

But he has also sought to stop India’s neighbours falling further into China’s embrace, choosing Bhutan and Nepal for his first foreign trips as prime minister and extending an olive branch of peace to arch-rival Pakistan.

That may not worry China too much. Modi’s close relationship with Tokyo, on the other hand, is likely to raise alarm bells in Beijing that analysts say he may be able to use to his advantage.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pictured in New Delhi earlier this month. Photo: EPA

Modi enjoys a particularly warm friendship with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who welcomed him even as he was shunned by Western powers over claims he failed to stop deadly religious riots in Gujarat, the state he used to run.

Both India and Japan are wary of what many see as Beijing’s growing territorial assertiveness, and Washington is eager for them to step up their cooperation by way of counterweight to China.

“China is looking at India under Modi as a serious and credible partner as well as potential adversary.” POLITICAL ANALYST SHYAM SARAN

“China is concerned that we would get closer to Japan and to the US under Modi. They don’t want that to happen,” said Jayadeva Ranade, president of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy in New Delhi.

via India and China in wary dance as Xi Jinping prepares for South Asia trip | South China Morning Post.


India and Japan Are a Perfect Fit – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan will generate headlines for the big deals that he does (or doesn’t) conclude with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. These include civil nuclear cooperation, high-speed rail construction and defense ties.

However, the bilateral relationship ultimately depends on thousands of smaller commercial deals. If the two leaders set the tone and clear away obstacles, the India-Japan partnership can become the driver of Asia’s growth. Mr Modi said on this visit that Japan and India bear a ‘huge responsibility’ to define the path of Asian growth in the 21st century.

The two powers are complementary on several levels, but primarily in the economic realm. Japan has the largest growth problem in the world while India has the largest development problem.

There is no clearer example of this than India’s need for new roads, railways and ports. The Reserve Bank of India has defined India’s key economic problem as a supply-side deficit; demand is abundant, at times rampant, but supply responses are reduced by the unavailability and cost of capital, alongside logistics bottlenecks. The result is higher inflation and lower growth.

Japan can provide the solution in the form of capital and technology. Tokyo is a partner in the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor which will create new “smart cities,” seven of which have started construction. Some 100 more are planned nationwide. This initiative has already yielded the Delhi Metro, built under budget and within schedule with Japanese loans and rolling stock.

via India and Japan Are a Perfect Fit – India Real Time – WSJ.


Indian PM Modi meets with Chinese FM – Xinhua |

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday met here with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping.


During the meeting, Wang conveyed greetings and messages from President Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Prime Minister Modi.

The Chinese president said in his message that he believes India will obtain greater development and progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

The Chinese president said that as two important forces in the process of multi-polarization of the world, China and India share far more common interests than differences and that the two countries are long-term strategic cooperative partners rather than adversaries.

The Chinese president pointed out that the dreams of both China and India to build a strong nation and to upgrade the living standards of their people have a lot of commonalities and the two countries should make an in-depth convergence of their development strategy, support each other with their respective strengths, build a close development partnership, and hold hands to realize peaceful development, cooperative development, and inclusive development, in order to benefit their people and enhance peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the whole world.

Prime Minister Modi said that the important message from President Xi Jinping has given a clear guidance for developing bilateral relations.

Modi said he highly appreciates the achievements in the field of development made by China and personally cherishes a friendly feeling toward China.

Modi said India’s new government is willing to join China to give a clear signal to the world that the two countries are dedicated to common development.

He suggested that the two countries maintain exchange of high- level visits, consolidate strategic trust, and use each other’s strengths to deepen cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, manufacturing, and IT industry.

Modi also said that India and China should develop their resources of two ancient civilizations to enhance cooperation and increase exchanges in humanity.

On the boundary issue, he said the two countries should commonly maintain peace and tranquility on the border areas in order to provide guarantees to the development of bilateral relations.

Foreign Minister Wang said that China and India are now standing at a new historical starting point of developing their relations and in the meantime are faced with important opportunities of their own development.

He said that China is ready to realize convergence with India in the fields of development theories and ideas, exchange and learn from each other in practice and theories of governance.

Wang said China is also willing to realize convergence of development strategies with India and let the “Look East” policy of India meet and confluence with China’s acceleration of opening its western regions.

The two countries should also use their respective strong points to support and supplement each other in their respective development, he said.

Wang said as the two ancient civilizations, China and India should join each other to make new contributions to human civilization and progress. He also suggested that the two countries properly control and manage their boundary problem to seek a mutually acceptable, fair and reasonable solution to the boundary issue.

via Indian PM Modi meets with Chinese FM – Xinhua |

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India’s Modi calls for greater cooperation with China | Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged greater cooperation with China on Monday and said he planned to visit Beijing soon, underlining his administration’s promise to make a new beginning with the country’s giant neighbor.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes out of a meeting room to receive his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India and China have rapidly expanded commercial relations in recent years but political ties remain difficult, after a dispute over their Himalayan border that led to a war in 1962.

But Modi, who took power last month, is seeking to engage with India’s neighbors, including China. A peaceful and stable neighborhood would help him pursue his economic goals at home.

On Monday, he met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yin, who was visiting India as a special envoy of China’s president to build ties with the new administration in New Delhi.

On Sunday, Wang had a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Sushi Sward, that lasted more than three hours. It was the first high-level engagement between the two countries since Modi assumed office.

“The two sides will remain in touch through the diplomatic channel to make necessary arrangements for these visits and for other meetings and exchanges of leaders on the sidelines of multilateral summits,” the Indian foreign office said in a statement after Wang’s meeting with Modi.

It gave no other details. Modi has already invited Chinese President Xi Jin ping to visit New Delhi later this year.

India was once viewed as a rival to China’s economic juggernaut. Both the economies have slowed in the past two years, but India’s slowdown has been dramatic.

Asia’s third-largest economy grew 4.7 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March. That was the second straight year of sub-5 percent growth, the longest slowdown in more than a quarter of a century.

Modi, who last month won the strongest parliamentary majority in the past 30 years on a promise of economic revival and jobs, wants to push infrastructure and skill development – a model followed by China to boost economic growth – to promote a turnaround.

“Scale, skill and speed. If these three strengths we can stress upon, then we can rise to the challenge of competing with China,” he said at a book launch event on Sunday.

via India’s Modi calls for greater cooperation with China | Reuters.

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Timeline: Indian Prime Minister Visits to the U.S. – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office just last month, has accepted an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit Washington D.C. in September.

If the visit happens as scheduled, he will be the latest leader of the world’s largest democracy to visit the world’s second largest democracy.

The relationship goes both ways. U.S. Presidents going back to Dwight D. Eisenhower have made visits to India. Click here to see the list of U.S. presidents who have made the trek to South Asia.

While most Indian Prime Ministers had official visits to the United States, six Indian premiers–including Lal Bahadur Shastri and H.D. Deve Gowda–did not visit the states while they were in office.

Here is a list of some of the trips made by prime ministers according to the U.S. Department of State.

Jawaharlal Nehru: The first prime minister of independent India went to the U.S. in 1949 and then in 1956 at which time he visited Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Indira Gandhi:  Ms. Gandhi visited the U.S. three times during her years in office. Her first visit was in 1966 when Lyndon B. Johnson was the president. Her second visit came in 1971 and her final visit was in 1982.

Indira Gandhi, left, stood next to Richard Nixon during an official ceremony during her visit to the U.S. in November 1971. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Morarji Desai: Mr. Desai went to the U.S. in 1978 visiting New York, San Francisco and Omaha.

Morarji Desai. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Rajiv Gandhi: Mr. Gandhi visited the U.S. two times in 1985 and once in 1987. He was assassinated two months after his 1987 visit.

Rajiv Gandhi addressed a crowd during election campaign rally at Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

P.V. Narasimha Rao: Mr. Rao–who is credited for starting to open India’s economy– visited the U.S. twice during his four years in office. He met President George H.W. Bush during a U.N. Security Council Summit in New York in 1992.  He visited again two years later to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.

P.V. Narasimha Rao, left, with Hillary Clinton. Douglas E. Curra/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Inder Kumar Gujral:  Though Mr. Gujral served as India’s prime minister for less than a year, he found time to visit New York where he met President Bill Clinton at the U.N. General Assembly in 1997.

Inder Kumar Gujral. Sena Vidanagama/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Mr. Vajpayee—the last prime minister from Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party–visited the U.S. four times during his five years in office, twice in 2001 and once each in 2002 and 2003.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, right, posed for photographs with George W. Bush in New York, Sept. 24, 2003. Luke Frazza/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Manmohan Singh: Mr. Singh was the prime minister for close to ten years until last month. He visited the U.S. on no less than seven occasions.

via Timeline: Indian Prime Minister Visits to the U.S. – India Real Time – WSJ.

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