Rajat Sharma

Modi and Imran Khan: a study in contrast

AKA_frame_78385When Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the two world leaders spoke to our PM with deference and respect.

Modi had told me in an interview during Lok Sabha polls last month that when the people of a country elect a leader with resounding majority, the world eyes the leader with a feeling of admiration and respect. The world always respects leaders of strong governments. This was clearly evident in Bishkek on Thursday.

Prime Minister Modi has opened his new innings by stressing on personal relationships with world leaders. He always comes up with new and out-of-the-box ideas. He invents slogans and cares for personal relationships. So much so, that world leaders have often copied his slogans.

In 2014, the slogan was ‘Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkar’. When Donald Trump ran for the office of President, the slogan ‘Ab Ki Baar, Trump Sarkar’ was used. The then British PM David Cameron too tweaked this slogan for himself during the parliamentary elections to garner votes from people of Indian origin in the UK.

In the recent LS elections, the slogan was ‘Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai’. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned this slogan while addressing an India Ideas Summit of the US-India Business Council on Wednesday.

And now, the paradox. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tries to copy Modi’s ideas and schemes for his country, but while implementing, he has become the butt of jokes on TV channels. The situation has come to a point where the government in Pakistan has asked news channels not to crack jokes about their prime minister.

I have been noticing that since the time Imran Khan became PM, he has been trying to copy ideas and schemes from Modi. Because of this, he is often compared with Modi on Pakistani TV channels. Imran Khan stands nowhere in comparison with Modi as far as administrative experience and political acumen are concerned.

Modi cut government expenditure and banned red and blue beacons for ministers and politicians, and Imran Khan followed suit. Soon after taking over as PM, Imran Khan publicly auctioned the fleet of expensive cars used by former PM Nawaz Sharif. He even auctioned a number of buffaloes kept at the PM’s residence.

Walking in the footsteps of Modi’s Swachhata movement, Imran Khan took out a broom to keep the streets clean. Modi appealed to Indians to forego LPG subsidy and use less fuel. Imran Khan had a novel idea. He asked people to use donkeys for transport in order to save fuel.

After citing these examples, I need not elaborate why the Pakistani media is having a field day cracking jokes about their Prime Minister, and the government had to crack the whip.

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