Mars mission, 'Make in India', US trip: PM Modi's 3 weapons vis-à-vis China

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the thick of things. On Wednesday, he congratulated the ISRO scientists after India's Mars mission made a successful debut by entering the orbit of the Red Planet. On Thursday, he stole the show on the occasion of launching ‘Make in India' campaign.

From Friday onwards, the international community will have a close look on how Modi, the leader of the world's largest democracy, presents himself on the soil of the United States, particularly at a time when the only superpower in the world has been caught up in myriad issues both at home and abroad.

All three point at assertion of India's identity

A common feature of each of these occasions that involve Modi is his reasserting India's national identity. This is something which is more similar to the style of late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi than Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who belonged to Modi's own party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Ironical indeed but this is how about it.

Taking on a stronger opponent helps Modi's image as a powerful leader

The significant of the Mangalyaan's success, launching of the Make in India campaign and Modi's historic tour to the United States is that each of these shower more favour to India in comparison to strong opponents like China and Modi has deftly stressed that point whenever he got an opportunity.

India's democracy is a strength over China

For example, on the occasion of the launching of Make in India campaign, Modi said the three factors of democracy, demographic dividend and demand make India's case stronger. This is certainly a poke at China, which is not a democracy.

Successful debut of India's Mars mission again a lead over China

Modi also underlined the country's success in its mission to Mars in the first attempt for it makes India the first country in the world to do so. China's maiden attempt in 2011 at the same had failed.

Modi likely to play China card in US as he did in Japan

In the USA, too, Modi is also likely to play the China card to bring New Delhi closer to Washington, just as he had done in Tokyo last month.

The China factor will provide an excellent opportunity to the new government in New Delhi to renew ties with the USA, particularly after the Devyani Khobragade affair last year.

The focus to take Beijing head on is a well-calculated move by the Narendra Modi government. The prime minister combines factors, both internal and external, to craft the idea of a resurgent India at home and abroad. And placing that India against the Chinese dragon does a remarkable favour to Modi's image as a gutsy leader.

The move to take on China without actually issuing defensive or weak statements is a well thought-out one.

Modi is doing what Indira Gandhi had done in 1971 minus the war

Indira Gandhi did her own leadership a world of good when she took on Pakistan in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh. That was an event which doesn't have much parallel in the world and gave Gandhi the image of an iron ruler permanently.

Pakistan only a military problem, but China is a challenge in fields of development

Today, Pakistan doesn't stand any chance to compete with India in domains of economy or technological development and its salability among the new generation of thriving and educated Indians is remarkably low. "Our army itself is enough to teach the Pakistanis a lesson," is how many feel today.

Modi govt has chosen the right competitor in China for Pak is no more in contest

This made it more important for Prime Minister Modi to choose a more challenging enemy for even an outside possibility of winning the competition against that enemy could take him well past Nehru as India's biggest statesman in future.

A successful handling of China could see Modi eclipse Nehru

Nehru is known for the debacles against both Pakistan and China and Modi knows this could be the opportunity for him to eclipse the first prime minister's stature.

The long-term impact of the Mars mission, Make in India initiative or the meeting with Obama is for time to decide. But as of now, these are three advantages that Modi has to show to the world in the way he likes. Perception, after all, matters in politics and particularly in these parts of the world.

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