This seems to be Barack-to-Narendra straight from the heart piece. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has launched a host of path-breaking reforms and has launched a massive global outreach in his mission of remaking India, figures in Time’s coveted 100 most influential people list, and his laudatory profile has been authored by none other than US President Barack Obama.
In his article on Mr Modi, Mr Obama refers to Mr Modi by his first name and lavishes rich praise on the Indian leader’s rise from a tea seller to the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy and holds up Narendra Modi’s life story as inspirational and symbolic of the dynamism and potential of India’s rise.
“As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he’s the leader of the world’s largest democracy, and his life story – from poverty to Prime Minister—reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise,” writes Mr Obama.
“Determined to help more Indians follow in his path, he’s laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true economic potential while confronting climate change. Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern – a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a ‘digital India’.”
Alluding to his first meeting with Mr Modi at the White House in Washington in September last year, the US president recalls fondly his visit to the memorial of Dr Martin Luther King memorial and how they shared views on the teachings of King and Mahatma Gandhi. “When he came to Washington, Narendra and I visited the memorial to Dr Martin Luther King Jr, we reflected on the teachings of King and Gandhi and how the diversity of backgrounds and faiths in our countries is a strength we have to protect. Prime Minister Modi recognizes that more than 1 billion Indians living and succeeding together can be an inspiring model for the world,” he writes.
Time wrote on its twitter handle – India’s Prime Minister @narendramodi “transcends the ancient and the modern,” writes President @BarackObama.
Mr Modi was quick to thank the US President, and tweeted, “Dear @BarackObama your words are touching & inspiring. Thanks @TIME.”
Mr Modi has been voted among the 100 most influential people in the world in an online poll by readers of Time magazine.
Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry (MEA), said in a tweet: “A leader writes about another. President Barack Obama writes about PM Modi.”
After Mr Modi became India’s prime minister last year with his party winning handsomely, ending the quarter century of coalition governments, Mr Modi has energized his country and impressed the world with his all-embracing vision of national resurgence that includes Make in India, Digital India and Skill India campaigns, part of his larger project of national renaissance.
Others who have made it to the list include US President Barack Obama himself, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the Dalai Lama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, pop stars Lady Gaga and Rihanna, among others.
However, the official list of ‘100 most influential persons in the world’ would be announced only later this week.
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