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Outlook.com

Theatre Of Lightness

Modi’s diplomatic stagecraft has only had modest success

Theatre Of Lightness
AFP (From Outlook 13 Octoberr 2014)
Theatre Of Lightness
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Prime Minister Modi’s five-day US trip ended on September 30. Images, rather than his words, linger, like Modi’s easy stroll past collected faithfuls at Palace Hotel, his visit to the 9/11  memorial, the Star Wars line “may the force be with you” at the Global Citizen Festival, President Barack Obama and him chatting at the Martin Luther King Jr memorial, the obeisance at the Gandhi Statue in Washington....

At times, diplomacy resembles theatre. For instance, J.F. Kennedy boosting West German morale with “Ich bin ein Berliner” or Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate beside the Berlin Wall, demanding Gorbachev pull it down.

With Modi, theatricality is integral to politics and diplom­acy. Drama has preceded and accompanied all his diploma­tic moves so far. For instance, the SAARC leaders invited for his swearing-in, including Pakistan; his visit to Nepal and Bhutan with extempore addresses to their parliaments, with an elaborate ritual at Pashupatinath; the start of the Japan visit in Kyoto involving Japanese rituals and...

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