The world is optimistic about India: Narendra Modi

Published May 26, 2015
In this April 30, 2014 file photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi holds his party's symbol and looks into his phone after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India. —AP/File
In this April 30, 2014 file photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi holds his party's symbol and looks into his phone after casting his vote in Ahmadabad, India. —AP/File

NEW DELHI: As Indian premier Narendra Modi's first year in office concluded, he took to Twitter to share an open letter he penned about his government, saying that the world is optimistic about India and exploring what the country has to offer.

"[A lot] changed in one year," Modi tweeted. He added that inflation in India is down while power generation increased. He also mentioned that the less fortunate are receiving bank accounts.

Modi said that his year as premier has strengthened the federal structure, portrayed complete transparency and had quick reforms.

Modi shows media savvy

As Modi wraps up his first year on the job, one thing is clear: He understands the power of a good photo.

A selfie with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang; enveloping President Barack Obama in a tight bear hug minutes after he landed in New Delhi; sweeping the streets of the Indian capital with a broom to highlight his national cleanliness campaign. There's a talked-about photograph documenting just about every major moment of his first year as prime minister.

In this Oct 2, 2014 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, sweeps a road with a broom along with civic workers in New Delhi, India. —AP/File
In this Oct 2, 2014 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, sweeps a road with a broom along with civic workers in New Delhi, India. —AP/File

Modi's sartorial choices, meanwhile, are as well documented as his forays into international diplomacy. The flowing, colorful traditional turban he wore to make his first speech to mark India's Independence Day got as much attention as the fact that he decided to make the speech without the bulletproof enclosure that usually surrounds Indian prime ministers.

In this Aug 15, 2014 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the country's Independence Day from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort in New Delhi, India. —AP/File
In this Aug 15, 2014 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the country's Independence Day from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort in New Delhi, India. —AP/File

The pinstripes on the dark suit he wore as he sipped tea with Obama in New Delhi turned out to be his own name printed in tiny letters. The suit was estimated to have cost more than 1 million rupees ($16,000), but Modi sidestepped the negative publicity by auctioning the suit for a whopping $700,000 to raise money to clean the highly polluted Ganges river.

In this Jan 25, 2015 photo, President Barack Obama, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have coffee and tea in the gardens of the Hyderabad House in, New Delhi, India. —AP/File
In this Jan 25, 2015 photo, President Barack Obama, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have coffee and tea in the gardens of the Hyderabad House in, New Delhi, India. —AP/File

Modi understood the power of the media and a well-chosen image much before he became prime minister. As chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, he managed the impossible — being in many places at the same time.

In this April 11, 2014 photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addresses the public via a 3D projection as part of his election campaign in Ahmadabad, India. —AP/File
In this April 11, 2014 photo, India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addresses the public via a 3D projection as part of his election campaign in Ahmadabad, India. —AP/File

Using hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, he dazzled voters by projecting a shockingly lifelike, three-dimensional holographic image of himself onto screens at election rallies in dozens of towns and villages.

Modi is also one of India's most social media-savvy politicians, and is active on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. He also posts photographs on Flickr and Pinterest. Before his visit to China this month he even joined Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site.

In this Sept 28, 2014 photo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India gives a speech during a reception by the Indian community in honor of his visit to the United States at Madison Square Garden, New York. —AP/File
In this Sept 28, 2014 photo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India gives a speech during a reception by the Indian community in honor of his visit to the United States at Madison Square Garden, New York. —AP/File
In this May 18, 2015 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, front right, takes picture with an unidentified woman upon his arrival at Seoul military airport in Seongnam, South Korea. —AP/File
In this May 18, 2015 photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, front right, takes picture with an unidentified woman upon his arrival at Seoul military airport in Seongnam, South Korea. —AP/File

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