Narendra Modi's 'hardliner' image is helping him as PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very busy. A lot of decisions are being made by his government in the day-to-day affairs and also in the foreign policy domain. The National Democratic Alliance government looks keen to curb the legacy of its predecessor as early as possible and kickstart India's progress again.

Modi factor making an impact

What has been noticeable so far is the impact of the Modi factor, both in internal and external affairs. The former chief minister of Gujarat was seen with a lot of fear and suspicion before the election as many apprehended communal riots across the nation if he became the prime minister.

Now, that fear is gradually turning into recognition. Many of those who were opposing Modi before the polls started changing tracks and even expressed an admiration for him for his kind overtures. Former Congress Union minister Shashi Tharoor is one such example. One would say that Modi was feared earlier because not many knew him for not many regional leaders went on to become the prime minister of this country.

Fear making way to recognition

Now, that fear is being replaced by a sense of reverence because Modi hasn't made the victory a reason to belittle others and has respected the opponents despite their smaller presence in the Parliament. This approach, considered best suited for a democratic system, has helped Modi to discover new friends. It is an irony that the same man who was accused of not carrying out Raj Dharma in 2002 is being praised as an evolving statesman.

The actions of dissolving empowered ministerial groups and cabinet panels are certainly going to project Modi as a man who takes tough administrative decisions. His clear instructions to ministers on maintaining transparency in governance will also score high among the people in general.

Modi doesn't want to bully others, but he also means business

In the foreign policy sector, the image of Modi is helping the cause of the nation. Like many in India's domestic politics, leaders of other countries, too, have a hazy idea about Modi. For many, he is a hardliner Hindu right-wing but through whatever initiative he has taken since May 26 when he took over as the PM, Modi has shown that he is a man of balance. He does not believe in bullying others but at the same time, he means business. This image will certainly help India's foreign policy strategies in the long-term.

A strong leader outside the Gandhi family

Modi has started giving an impression that India can produce a strong leader even outside the family of the Nehrus and Gandhis. The nation, till now, was convinced that decisive governance could be possible only under the Gandhis while it was more of an everyday struggle under other coalition prime ministers. Modi, for the first time since Indira Gandhi, has added back the personality appeal to the post of the prime minister and made the task of governance look more decisive.

Both US and China are eager to get close to Modi

The approach of the USA and China, two very important states, towards New Delhi after Modi's inauguration has been significant. Both Washington and Beijing have made overtures at the new prime minister and have sent their representatives to India. While the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Nisha Biswal came to India to prepare grounds for bilateral talks, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also visited New Delhi to speak to the new Indian leadership. It shows that neither of the two big powers is willing to take the risk of ignoring Modi for both needs to understand him for the long-term consequences in their relation with India and their policies in South and South-East Asia.

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