Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is ideologically hawkish,but economically opportunistic,a noted American scholar writes in a new book.
In his latest book Shooting a Century,which hit book stores this week,Stephen P Cohen says Modi epitomises a certain ambivalence toward Pakistan,which is the also case with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.
Cohen is currently a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institute,a Washington-based eminent think-tank. Ideologically hawkish,but economically opportunistic,Modi was associated with several communal atrocities,yet he is one of the most effective of Indias politicians,at least in his home state,which borders Pakistan, Cohen writes in his book,which is mostly focused on the India-Pakistan relationship.
On the one hand,he (Modi) regularly excoriates it (Pakistan) for supporting terrorism,he has been vehement regarding other states,notably America,for the lack of clarity on their stand on Pakistan-based terrorism. His strong views here may reflect Americas refusal to give him a visa,but his attacks on Pakistan please the RSS component of the BJP establishment, Cohen wrote.
During a trip to China seeking Chinese investment,Modi took an appropriately hard line on the role of Chinese troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. But undoubtedly the Chinese told Modi that they favoured good India-Pakistan relations,and Gujarat,bordering Pakistan,would benefit enormously from trade with that country, he said.
His requests for Chinese investment balance out his concern for Pakistani-based extremism,so he has not come out directly or strongly on the India-Pakistan normalisation process,except to criticise the Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for softness, the author wrote.
Former judge greets Modi
In a letter to Modi,a copy of which was released to the media here,he said You made your Government free from corruption and gave a Gandhian holiday to alcoholism good enough found to make you a leader.
When the appropriate time comes,lead the nation on the Gandhian model of integrity,anti-alcoholism and a socialist secular national policy, he said. ENS