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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Grass In The Wind

Britain and Modi, and how nations can’t bet on just one horse

Grass In The Wind
Illustration by Sorit
Grass In The Wind
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The detente between the British high commission and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has raised speculation on whether the US—which has denied him a visa since 2005 for alleged human rights violations—is also on the verge of relenting. While a debate on the validity of such action against a democratically elected leader in a pluralistic nation is perhaps anachronistic, this sudden switch is well worth examining. Strictly speaking, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office can argue that Modi has had a judicial reprieve and that a direct complicity is yet to be established. His lack of contrition, though troublesome, is outweighed by his rising profile as a possible BJP prime ministerial candidate. Discretion is, after all, the better part of valour.

The significance of this action, however, goes beyond the political fortunes of one player in a scenario complicated by the rising political vulnerability of the UPA government (corruption charges spreading to the very family of Sonia Gandhi) and the concomitant flexing of muscles by regional political...

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