Written by Andrew Whitehead.
In his eighteen months in office, Narendra Modi has spent a great deal of time travelling. He’s been to the United States twice, to France, Germany, China, Australia, Canada, Japan, Ireland – twenty-eight foreign visits in all. This week he’s making his first visit as prime minister to Britain, at a time when concern is rising in India about religious and political intolerance and what critics regard as a majoritarian style of governance in which minorities are at a disadvantage.
There seems to be a personal imperative behind Mr Modi’s globe-trotting. The United States and Britain both placed Mr Modi in what amounted to quarantine for several years because of concern that as chief minister of the state of Gujarat, he bore some responsibility for the communal violence there in 2002 which left hundreds dead. The US only made clear that it was lifting this diplomatic isolation early last year, weeks before Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, won an emphatic election victory. Continue reading The Modi Enigma.