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MODI ON THE MIKE

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York

Daily Dose by Bikram Vohra

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York on September 27, 2014.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York on September 27, 2014.

The UN General Assembly is one of the worst places to give a speech. The atmosphere is dull and dreary, the podium is small and apologetic, there is scarcely anyone in the vast cavern and no one is really listening. You ignite little passion and are often one of a line of speakers on the schedule. Ergo, you are not likely to set the Hudson on fire. The desultory attitude was best reflected in the monotonous and amateur introduction of the Indian Prime Minister. It is done with more passion at a primary school debate.

And the chasm between the reality and the frenzy of the Indian media was a canyon. Why have they been getting so orgasmic about very little.

Modi came, Modi spoke well enough and so he should, we have heard him often enough to know he can hold his own but let’s stop marvelling over it. He should be able to speak well so why all this astonishment that he does.

It was a typical UN speech, short on rhetoric, long on intent and did make one point; it put the UN on guard that if India did not get on to the Security Council do not expect New Delhi to be an enthusiastic supporter of every UN initiative.

Indian analysts are so imbued by the Indo-Pak equation which, frankly, was a damp squib and did nothing for the impasse of six decades either from the Nawaz Sharif waffle or the easygoing scarcely intimidating response from Modi that everything else became secondary.

We are hearing so much of Modi on the mike that it is becoming a bit predictable. Unless he begins to get into specifics the allure will fade.

There was a fun part. All those TV gurus sitting perched on fragile little stools in a New York wind analysing every word without really knowing why.

I am a bit in the dark still about all the brouhaha attached to this visit and all the ‘bated’ breath with which everyone was waiting.

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