Washington: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his second US trip in a year, a commentary in a leading daily said he remained “India’s best hope for an economic renaissance” while another suggested that he may be a “diplomatic failure with India’s neighbours.”
“By reaching out directly to the American corporate sector, Modi hopes to bolster economic ties with the US and project India as a prominent investment destination,” wrote Harsh V. Pant in a commentary in the Wall Street Journal.
“Not surprisingly, Modi will spend much of his US tour currying favour with American corporate heads,” he wrote taking note of his meetings with potential investors, media and CEOs of infrastructure and manufacturing companies and tech leaders in Silicon Valley.
“Much like his other visits, Modi will look to Indian-Americans to harness their support for India’s economic regeneration,” wrote Pant, professor of defence studies at King’s College London.
Taking note of investors’ disappointment “at the government’s inability to pass important legislation,” Pant largely blamed the opposition and said, “Modi remains India’s best hope for an economic renaissance.”
“His popularity remains high and optimism about the future of the country under his leadership is soaring,” he wrote.
“It is this cache of popular support that Modi will be leveraging as he tries to convince US investors and policy makers that India’s story has just begun and that his leadership can write the next chapter.”
“It may seem like a tall order, but Modi is nothing if not ambitious,” Pant concluded.
On the other hand, the Washington Post wondered if Modi who “makes a lot of overseas trips,” is “a diplomatic failure with India’s neighbours.”
“At first, his rock star-like foreign visits served as a welcome break, especially after the robotic and relatively timid visits abroad of his predecessor, Manmohan Singh,” the Post said in a report from New Delhi.
“But are Modi’s sojourns abroad yielding real results?” it asked and suggested, “Not if you look at India’s neighbours such as Nepal and Pakistan.”
In India, many have begun “asking whether Modi’s diplomacy is working,” the Post report said even as it acknowledged that “Still, in almost all popularity polls, Modi’s foreign-policy initiatives continue to score high.”