POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Aug 07, 2015 AT 23:09 IST ,  Edited At: Aug 07, 2015 23:09 IST

With independence day around the corner when India's very eloquent prime minister Narendra Modi will get a chance to do what he does the best -- address the nation -- doubts and questions are rife among his detractors over whether the PM and his speeches are just "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". Leading political commentators in their latest pieces have questioned Modi's achievements in the last one year, his hasty decisions leading to frequent U-turns and his silence in the Parliament which seems to hint that he might just be taking after some of his predecessors.  

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar writes in the Economic Times:

The land acquisition fiasco reveals him as frightened and indecisive, happier retreating than fighting to the finish. This is not an isolated example: he has repeatedly given priority to tactics over strategy, to political convenience over conviction.

No, the problem is not that Modi is too dictatorial. Rather, he is vacillating and unwilling to fight to the finish on any difficult issue, more yellow than saffron. He presides today over apathetic sense of drift, defensiveness and lack of conviction. He seems happier coining slogans than in implementing tough decisions.

Soutik Biswas in his piece in the BBC asks a pointed question: "Has Narendra Modi lost the plot?" He writes:

This week's hasty and inept decision to block access to internet porn and almost immediately lift the ban made the government the butt of social media jokes. And many believe that Mr Modi's government is being petty, vindictive and partisan in browbeating critical NGOs, hounding a prominent social activist and packing educational institutions with people whose credentials many find dubious...The prime minister has often been silent in the face of rabble-rousing by hardline elements in his party. 

In his August 7 piece in the Indian Express, President, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi, Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes that Modi is turning into the opposite of his own self-presentation:

Instead of boldness, we are getting timidity. There is not a single measure this government has taken or a policy it has proposed that can in any way be called bold, which involves the slightest political risk, or displays a measure of conviction...Instead of clarity, there is confusion...Instead of implementation, you are getting inaction...Instead of confidence, there is insecurity...Instead of political acuteness, there is political obtuseness...Instead of communication, you are getting silence...Instead of aspiration, you are getting a diminution of spirit...Modi is visible in campaign mode; he will doubtless put everything on the line in Bihar. But the PM is missing.

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Aug 07, 2015 AT 23:09 IST, Edited At: Aug 07, 2015 23:09 IST
POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jul 08, 2015 AT 21:49 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 08, 2015 21:49 IST

Even as other factors like Greece or the US rate hike take precedence, the Modi wave is losing ground on India's stock markets. 

Outlook had presented ModX, the Modi Index in February this year. The index had 15 key stocks from five different fields. Four of these — Capital Goods, Railways, Power and Tourism — were sectors Modi has repeatedly mentioned in his pre-election speeches. The fifth segment, Friend, is a qualitative one as the common perception is that the founders of these companies are 'friends' of Narendra Modi, and have been seen to be close to him over the years. Three stocks were chosen from each theme to stitch together the 15-stock ModX. 

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jul 08, 2015 AT 21:49 IST, Edited At: Jul 08, 2015 21:49 IST
POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jul 01, 2015 AT 06:40 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 01, 2015 06:40 IST

Haryana's Bibipur Village Panchayat initiated a unique #SelfieWithDaughter contest to drive home the importance of a girl child. The media was abuzz with the story which reached our Prime Minister who is known to engage in selfie-diplomacy. So this time he decided to try his hands at some selfie-activism. Little did he know that his endorsement for the above contest on his 'Mann ki Baat' radio show would generate so much heat and debate that the real message would ultimately get lost.

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON Jul 01, 2015 AT 06:40 IST, Edited At: Jul 01, 2015 06:40 IST
POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON May 19, 2015 AT 22:57 IST ,  Edited At: May 19, 2015 22:57 IST

If you talk too much, you are bound to say things that you will regret eventually. Wise words. The former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh perhaps understood it better than anybody but took it a tad bit too far. But Narendra Modi clearly seems to be learning this invaluable lesson the hard way. 

Modi, in full form, was addressing the Indian community in Shanghai. He has been told that he is a great orator and public speaking is what he is the best at. Hence he was full of confidence. According to a report, this is what he said: "Earlier, you felt ashamed of being born Indian, now you feel proud to represent the country. Indians abroad had all hoped for a change in government last year."

The Twitterati wasn't going to let that one go, would it?

While some people on Twitter were demanding apologies from Modi for his comment, what followed was another piece of news about Modi saying something similar to a massive gathering at a grand reception in Seoul.

Modi said that people used to lament about what sin they had committed in their previous birth that they were born in India. There used to be a point in time when people used to regret being born in India and businessmen wanted to leave the country for better opportunities abroad, he said. But now, he added, those people are saying they are ready to come back even if their incomes are lower than in other places. "The mood has changed," he added, going on to assert that his government had changed sentiments within one year of assuming office.

One can imagine what followed. Complete outrage.

#ModiInsultsIndia was eventually toppled over from its numero uno position by another Modi-related hashtag clearly started by fans, bhakts, supporters, called #ModiIndiasPride.

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POSTED BY Outlook Web Desk ON May 19, 2015 AT 22:57 IST, Edited At: May 19, 2015 22:57 IST
POSTED BY Freya Dasgupta ON May 19, 2015 AT 21:16 IST ,  Edited At: May 19, 2015 21:16 IST

Narendra Modi has a thing for selfies, everyone knows that by now. But there is something else he is fond of, it’s almost a hobby. Modi loves coming up with the most bizarre acronyms and alliterations. Whether he is on a diplomatic mission to some foreign land or launching a scheme or addressing a rally, acronyms just pour out of him like verse from a poetic soul.

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POSTED BY Freya Dasgupta ON May 19, 2015 AT 21:16 IST, Edited At: May 19, 2015 21:16 IST
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