Modi’s ‘Charm Abe’ blitz: Kem Chho, Garba and Buddhist monks…

A resplendent roadshow, garba dance, vegetarian delicacies, Buddhist monks, and chants of Khem Chho….In a series of unprecedented gestures, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi literally rolled out the red carpet for his Japanese counterpart
Shinzo Abe, as the latter touched down in Ahmedabad on a two-day visit.
In a departure from protocol, Mr Modi personally received his honoured Japanese guest at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International airport in Ahmedabad. As both leaders walked the red carpet they were greeted by folk artists along the way dancing to popular Gujarati beats and a group of Buddhist monks who presented Abe and First Lady Akie Abe a white scarf. Both leaders then travelled from the airport to Sabarmati Ashram in a colourful roadshow, stretching over eight kilometres.
The spectacular welcome for Mr Aabe imparted a new resonance to India’s age-old tradition of treating a guest as God: “Atithi Devo Bhava.”
The city of Ahmedabad wore a festive look as onlookers thronged along the entire stretch of the road through which the cavalcade made its way to the Sabarmati Ashram. Every roundabout had troops of dancers performing and school children cheering the leaders.
“These special gestures are designed to underscore the importance India attaches to developing a multi-dimensional relationship with Japan and the pivotal role Japan will play in India’s transformation, specially in areas of infrastructure and technology,” said Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network and India and World magazine.

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