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Obama praises Modi for unleashing ‘India’s true potential’, calls him ‘India’s reformer-in-chief’ in Times article



By NewsGram Staff Writer

In an atypical gesture, US President Barack Obama on Thursday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi India’s “reformer-in-chief” in an article he wrote for the prestigious Time magazine.

“As a boy, 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”, Obama said.

The US president said that Modi is “determined to help more Indians follow in his path”.

Lauding the efforts of the Indian premier, Obama said that the Indian prime minister had “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’ “, he said.

Calling Modi by his first name Narendra, Obama recalled the time he came to Washington and they visited the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr.

“We reflected on the teachings of King and (Mahatma) Gandhi and how the diversity of backgrounds and faiths in our countries is a strength we have to protect”, Obama wrote.

“Modi recognizes that more than 1 billion Indians living and succeeding together can be an inspiring model for the world,” he said in the piece in which Time’s 100 most influential people in 2015 were profiled.

Returning the compliment, Modi thanked the US President for his ‘touching and inspiring’ words and tweeted about Obama’s write-up in the magazine.

Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are the only Indians in the Time’s list, which is currently being topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Time Magazine Puts Indian PM on International Issue, Debates 5-Year Record

Ian Bremmer, founder of a political risk consulting firm, has written an article for the same issue titled Modi is India's Best Hope for Economic Reform

The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. VOA

Time magazine has put Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its international issue, debating whether his rule has been good for the country. A critical article by Aatish Taseer questions whether the qualities that won Modi the national election in 2014 are still useful today.

He said while 2014 was an “election of hope,” the 2019 vote takes place among people obsessed with their differences. While Taseer’s story says Modi has failed to deliver on his promises, Ian Bremmer, founder of a political risk consulting firm, has written an article for the same issue titled Modi is India’s Best Hope for Economic Reform.

modi, time magazine
Ian Bremmer, founder of a political risk consulting firm, has written an article for the same issue titled Modi is India’s Best Hope for Economic Reform. VOA

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Bremmer says while Modi’s economic record has not been completely successful, he remains the person most capable of fostering more change in India. He praises Modi’s work on domestic development, saying he has improved the lives and prospects of hundreds of millions of people. He also says Modi has improved relations with China, the U.S., and Japan.

The story is published as India holds elections for the lower house of parliament. Votes will be counted May 23. (VOA)