He goes out of India so frequently that it is appropriate to call him the frequent flyer Prime Minister. Since coming to power one year ago – 26 May 2014 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the head of a poor yet advanced India, has traveled to eighteen nations.
Typically, PM Modi meets and greets the head of a nation, cajoles the CEOs, conducts bilateral talks, does sightseeing, and speaks to the people of Indian origin.
Modi tells his personal life story to his counterparts. He tells how hard he works to modernize India. For instance, he told the U.S. President Barrack Obama that he, the Modi, sleeps only 3 hours at night.
During his recent trip to China, Mongolia, and South Korea, NaMo visited the famous terracotta museum in China. And in Mongolia, he donned a native robe-like gown and a hat and tried his hands at shooting arrows and playing a cello-like instrument.
When among the Indians overseas, Modi talks about the changes he would bring to benefit NRIs (non-resident Indians) or how he is transforming India or about his opponents back home.
However, his recent addresses have raised many eyebrows. "Earlier, you felt ashamed of being born Indian. Now you feel proud to represent the country," Modi told Indians in Shanghai. And in Seoul he said, "There was a time when people used to say we don't know what sins we committed in our past life that we were born in Hindustan."
Modi’s name may appear in the Gunnies Book of World Records, for it is unlikely that any other head of a government has visited as many countries as Modi has in a span of one year.
But at what cost to the exchequer?
If one takes into account a few components of cost such as jet fuel, maintenance of Maharaja One (PM’s airplane) and its parking, luggage transfer, hotel, security, transportation, etc., it works out to be roughly Rs.8.5-caror (US$1.37 million) per trip for a delegation of 150 people.
Why foreigners for India’s progress?
Modi says to CEOs – whether they are in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, or the USA – come build manufacturing plants and service-oriented businesses in India.
"Friends! Indo-Chinese partnership should and will flourish... India is ready for business," said Modi to a group of Chinese corporate executives in Shanghai.
Modi is begging foreigners to modernize India. But he misses a point: America was developed by Americans, Canada by Canadians, Switzerland by Swiss, so why Indians shouldn’t move India forward.
For example, Modi wants the Chinese to build factories on our land; he wants the Chinese to employ us – the proud Indians; and he wants the Chinese to take the profit out of India. Modi told the Chinese business leaders, "I assure you of my personal attention for your success."