On a previous trip to America, the two strong leaders met and appeared quite amicable. My friend Page sent me this article below from the Washington Post this morning. She had visited India during college and also knows my love for Incredible India. Her question was about my opinion of Mr. Modi and had it changed. My trips to India were 2013, 2015, and 2017. I have not heard specifically from Indian friends about Mr. Modi’s work and accomplishments and struggles since his election in 2014.
I will give my thoughts and then I encourage my Indian readers to agree, disagree, and add to my text. First I am an unashamedly Modi fan an have been from the months I spent in Ahmedabad when he was state minister of Gujarat. The infrastructure, electricity, traffic and just about everything was more efficient in Gujarat. Traveling through India where all those services were less, it seemed a no brainer for me. Elect Mr. Modi to do his hard work and magic all throughout India.
On each subsequent visit, improvements had been made. An example was public trash barrels had been placed around the city and yes they had been used. . . . . to overflowing onto the ground around. Next job is getting trash trucks to haul it away. Such a small but monumental problem with a huge amount of people. They are trying and working at it and it will get corrected.
Kashmir. . . . has been a challenge between India and Pakistan since 1947 and the division of the countries. I know that division is rarely, it seems, satisfactory for anyone. . . Ireland, Israel, and Palestine. . . Berlin. And to the best of my knowledge, Kashmir and the wars over it are rooted in the usual hatred and greed . . . . .money and or power. Please add to the conversation and correct me if necessary.
Mr. Modi is a devout Hindu and now he is the leader of a country which is 85% Hindu. There are more Muslim people in India than in Pakistan and all major and many minor religions are there. . . interacting more or less peacefully. I have heard that some Christian churches who have served and ministered for years in India running hospitals and schools are feeling less welcome now. This is a problem in a democratic country.
Now for a very strong positive for Mr. Modi. He had promised 100% potty installation by 2020. It seems hard to understand in a huge country with 1.3 billion people that there are many homes and areas without indoor facilities. In the Washington Post article, I read of the Gates Foundation award for progress! That is amazing as I am sure there were high-performance expectations that were met. Remember India launched a rocket and beat the US to an orbit of Mars. . . .
India has a huge gift for problem-solving and an entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Modi sees the challenges pretty clearly and inspires confidence in the huge middle class. Ironically Mr. Trump voices his base as being middle class in America. Neither is perfect and both have a huge favorable following. Can they deliver? Can they avoid corruption and love of money and power?
I would not be surprised if, on Sunday, both leaders are filmed in a large white cowboy hats. Don’t expect a white stallion, though.
Modi is great ….India is very lucky to have such great person as prime minister.
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I agree heartedly! Thanks for responding.
It is a love-hate situation. India has a huge army and they are engaged in space research. However, illiteracy is still a problem for a third of the population. Extreme poverty is evident in Bihar state. The BJP is a fanatical party and Christians are being harassed and attacked in quite a few states. Muslims are also being attacked, so yes there is a big human rights problem in India and Modi does not seem to be improving that.
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Hey Mike, I am thrilled a serious and knowledgeable blogger such as you would read and respond to my blog!
I am wondering what you think of the Gandhi family and the AAP of Avind who seems like a regional candidate at best?
Have you read Katherine Boo’s marvelous book on Mumbai Slum? BEHIND the BEAUtiFUL FOrevers?
Also, I recommend seeing the film 26/11 of the terrorist attack in Mumbai It is in Hindi but worth seeing for anyone who is interested in India. I realize that it tells the story from Indian point of view only.
Curious about your thoughts on the push for mandatory bank accounts and the abrupt change of money?
Of my time in Idia, spending a morning with a young Indian activist who was an architect walking through the Ashram Slum in Ahmedabad was near the top of the list. Instead of moving the people and plowing the slum for building hotels near the river, the planners met with the people and asked their needs and for their input. The people didn’t want forced evacuation and did want a school, library and worship center for all the religions in that slum. Amazing.
If you are still reading, thank you. All this is my opinion and experience in India. My heart was touched and changed forever by the precious Indian people who had so little but poverty and family and yet were so welcoming to me. They took so much pleasure in simple things like kite flying! I think many of the west could learn from these aspects of
I am thinking you have worked in India.
Interesting to get your insight. I have not visited India but my better half is of Hindu origin so I am plunged into the culture for many years now. India has very close historical, cultural and religious ties to my present country. I have seen the film you mention and I have watched many Bollywood movies in Hindi but thankfully with subtitles although I have learned some Hindi words now. I genuinely believe Modi is trying to modernize India but he has a big job with such a huge country. The mandatory bank account system is probably a system to come in line with the control of financial transactions worldwide and tax evasion. A Permanent Account Number (PAN) is issued to each taxpayer and serves as an identifier across the country. A unique national electronic account method. India is such a melting pot of the diversity of cultures and languages it is impossible for us not to marvel at the spectacle.
Anne, I really liked your thoughtful post responding to my request about your current thoughts about Modi. I am also interested in the thoughts and opinions of your other viewers. All strong leaders are complicated and controversial, and we have to look at how many people are affected positively to determine how effective they really are. Thanks!
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You always have such wisdom! Indian people are very committed to voting and have 66% + turnout. 2019 election largest ever on the earth. The poor love Election Day feeling it is the one day all Indians rich or poor are equal with one vote!
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