Modi’s Europe yatra: Cruise with Hollande, cleaning up Ganga via Rhine

It promises to be a memorable evening in Paris, redolent of the famous Bollywood number of the late 1960s. When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande go on a boat ride on the shimmering moon-lit Seine river next week, expect sparks to fly, and illuminate the multi-hued tapestry of India-France relations. The evening boat ride will be a time to do some small talk, think big, and map out an ambitious trajectory for one of India’s most crucial strategic partnerships in the European continent.
The planned Modi-Hollande boat cruise shows how the Indian diplomacy has changed in its tone, texture and atmospherics since Mr Modi took charge of the world’s most populous democracy and Asia’s third largest economy, nearly a year ago. In the staid and stuffy world of diplomacy, it has taken Modi, a former tea-seller, to reinvent the rules of the game and understand the value of spectacle and gestures in the media-saturated landscape.
From Make in India to Skill India and Clean Ganga, Prime Minister Modi will be looking to rope in two of Europe’s most powerful economies and influential players, for the overarching project of India’s economic resurgence. If it takes a boat ride with the French president and serenading the India Story with the German chancellor, so be it.

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