POSTED BY OWD ON Jan 29, 2015 AT 20:27 IST ,  Edited At: Jan 29, 2015 20:27 IST

American President Barack Obama says Narendra Modi is tough and has style too. Let's scratch tough for now, and look at his style first. There have been numerous comments about Modi’s headgear, his penchant for being well dressed and colour coordinated. Why, more recently, he attracted criticism for his pin-stripe Modi suit. But has enough attention been paid to his handshake, or his greeting style in general?

Ask Suu Kyi, whose stylish hand has vanished under the stylish hand of Modi. That looks like a real bone-crushing handshake.

 

Then there’s the enthusiastically-grab-the-hands-folded-in-a-traditional-namaste style.

 

Look at how Modi greets a couple, in this case Mukesh and Nita Ambani. Please note: left hand to Nita Ambani and right hand to Mukesh.

 

The next style is best called crush-the-pinkie-till-its-numb. Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, gave a thumbs up to this handshake at the G-20. Incidentally, two days ago, Rousseff asked her cabinet to support tightened belts, economically speaking. Tough, but stylish.

 

Modi's ultimate handshake style, which is not a handshake at all, is simply the conventional bearhug.

 

Check out his meeting with the Mayor of Tumkur. For some reason, the PM chose a Japanese-style greeting.


 

Modi maintained a polite cooperative federalist's distance when given an audience with J Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

 

Finally, Obama should eat his words. Modi held Michelle Obama's hand in a stake, sorry, shake, quite gently. Wonder why Obama looks worriedly at this handshake.

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POSTED BY OWD ON Jan 29, 2015 AT 20:27 IST, Edited At: Jan 29, 2015 20:27 IST
POSTED BY OWD ON Jan 21, 2015 AT 21:51 IST ,  Edited At: Jan 21, 2015 21:51 IST

It is no secret that India's general elections are one of the most expensive in the world. Last year, India's General Elections that catapulted Narendra Modi from Gujarat to the national capital was considered the second-most expensive election ever after Barack Obama's campaign. The contrast between the two is evident: the US is one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world. In the eyes of many, India remains a developing nation.

Nevertheless, ho-hum was the typical reaction when the nation got to know about the high cost (Rs 60 crore) of Modi's 3D campaigns. 

The Times of India reported:

"The 3D holographic campaign, a novelty in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and a critical component of Narendra Modi's hi-tech campaign enabling him to address more than 700 virtual rallies, cost BJP over Rs 60 crore. The licence fee alone for two months during the campaign accounted for Rs 10 crore."

While many estimates were flowing in about how much India had spent in the 2014 elections, Outlook had done its own calculations and arrived at the conclusion that a mind boggling Rs 31,950 crore was spent in general elections 2014. That's a little over $ 5.2 billion, which is ten times the Rs 3,426 crore the Indian government spent on conducting the elections. 

The Outlook report said:

"Sensing a strong anti-incumbency 'wave', parties dug deep in their pockets and spent big money to ensure a victory. They paid for every trick in the book to lure voters — from huge publicity campaigns to attempting to buy their commitment via the age-old practice of gifts, liquor and food. Politicians also say that cash-for-votes is rife, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra."

Of the Indian total, the BJP alone is estimated to have spent two thirds — or over Rs 21,000 crore — in the elections that brought them to the throne.

Click on image to expand

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POSTED BY OWD ON Jan 21, 2015 AT 21:51 IST, Edited At: Jan 21, 2015 21:51 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 01, 2014 AT 18:52 IST ,  Edited At: Nov 01, 2014 18:52 IST

When Yella­p­ragada Sudershan Rao, a staunch proponent of the view that Ramayana and Mahabharata are truthful accounts of events present in the collective memory of people, known for placing primacy of faith over reason, was appointed the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) by the BJP-led NDA government, there was widespread dismay in academic circles, but little surprise.

But when Lokesh Chandra, the 87-year-old Indira Gandhi loyalist, with links to leaders of the erstwhile Soviet Union, was appointed president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the country’s cultural interface with the world, many eyebrows were raised.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Nov 01, 2014 AT 18:52 IST, Edited At: Nov 01, 2014 18:52 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 28, 2014 AT 23:02 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 28, 2014 23:02 IST

It was reported briefly earlier, but here's the video and the transcript made available by the Prime Minister's Office itself of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech after inaugurating the refurbished and partly newly built H N Reliance Foundation Hospital.in Mumbai on Saturday, October 25, 2014:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 28, 2014 AT 23:02 IST, Edited At: Oct 28, 2014 23:02 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 25, 2014 AT 02:44 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 25, 2014 02:44 IST

Kesari, the RSS mouthpiece in Kerala, has stirred up a fresh controversy by carrying an article in its October 17, 2014 edition, which suggests, albeit indirectly, that Nathuram Godse made a mistake in killing Mahatma Gandhi, when his target should have been the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. 

B. Gopalakrishnan, who fought and lost the Lok Sabha elections for the Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency on a BJP ticket, suggests in the article that Nehru’s selfishness was responsible for many of the problems the country faces even after seven decades of independence. 
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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 25, 2014 AT 02:44 IST, Edited At: Oct 25, 2014 02:44 IST
     
 
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