From Playing Drums to Meeting Fans, the Modi Touch is Visible


'Tried my hand at the drums today! Enjoyed the experience', tweeted PM Modi.

Tokyo:  Just as he was about to board his car after finishing an event at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw a group of people wildly cheering for him outside the gates of the Mission. Breaking his security cordon, the Prime Minister walked out of the main gate of the Embassy, crossed the street and waded into his fans, many of whom had waited hours to catch a glimpse of him. (Caught on Camera: Outstanding Moments from PM's Japan Trip)

This sort of spontaneous situation would be rare in India but here, in Japan, it seems that the threat perception for the Prime Minister is not quite the same and Mr Modi has been happy to use that to his advantage.

A short while earlier, the Prime Minister had arrived at the Embassy to inaugurate a Vivekananda Centre and made it a point to speak at length to speak to a group of small children who were waiting to greet him. This was a relaxed Prime Minister who posed for photographs with the handful of Indian reporters and camerapeople who were present at the Embassy at the time.

This sort of spontaneity defined Mr Modi today. He surprised dozens of guests at a Tata Consultancy Services event where he was asked to strike a set of drums to kick-start the event. No problem. Not only did he match the beat of the accompanying drummer, he seemed to gesture to him to follow his lead.  (What PM Modi Said to TCS Trainees in Tokyo)

By the end of the evening, the Prime Minister was completely in his element while speaking to local Indians here in Tokyo.  Taking a swipe at "secular" individuals, the Prime Minister said, "I presented the Geeta to the Emperor today. My secular friends would say I am making (the Japanese) communal! But they have their job to do and if I was not there, how would they survive?" (My Gifting the Gita Will Irk the 'Secular', says PM Modi in Japan)

The day, however, began on a serious note.  Speaking to school and college students at the Sacred Heart University, Mr Modi was confronted by two students with direct questions on Chinese expansionism and India's nuclear safeguards.  At his diplomatic best on this occasion, the Prime Minister said, "It seems you are worried by the Chinese.  Lets focus on ourselves, not others.  Let us remain committed to our values, focus on development and peace.  Then the situation will improve."

Beijing, though, has taken note of these remarks with the Chinese media saying a united Japan-China front equals a crazy fantasy.  

From his visibly warm personal equation with his counterpart Shinzo Abe to visiting temples and reaching out to tourists  he encountered there- this trip has been marked by the PM reaching out to the Japanese people.  He appears to have been quite successful in doing that.

This trip's agenda, however, was to sell  the India story to Japanese corporates, big and small. And the Prime Minister has done all the talking.  Will business from Japan accept his invitation to come to India? That will prove the Modi touch.

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