A strong bond
This refers to ‘Chemistry over history: nuclear logjam clears, big push in defence’ (IE, January 26). This seems to be the best phase in India-US relations. Ties between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are so warm that Modi calls Obama by his first name. This is in stark contrast to the deferential way in which past Indian prime ministers treated US presidents. Modi showed his eagerness for warm ties by receiving Obama at the airport and hugging him too. Their joint press conference and tea at Hyderabad House also showed their mutual admiration. It was wonderful to hear Obama try to speak in Hindi. These small gestures go a long way. We are eagerly looking forward to Modi and Obama’s joint “Mann ki Baat” on the radio. Through the radio broadcast, they will touch the lives of Indians in far flung
areas, who do not have access to television.
— Yash P. Verma
The bonhomie between Obama and Modi appeared to be real and spontaneous. Not once did they look like they were acting out or following a script. More than powerful leaders of two robust democracies, Obama and Modi gave the impression of being two ordinary human beings eager to nurture their newfound bond. The common thread that joins the two is their personal growth curve. Both rose from humble origins to achieve huge success. One only hopes that their apparent personal chemistry will help bolster ties between the two countries.
— Ganapathi Bhat
Power at its worst
Daniel Markey may well be correct in suggesting Ronald Reagan as a model for Prime Minister Narendra Modi with respect to foreign policy (‘Peace through strength, Indian-style’, IE, January 26), but what he proposes is a recipe for disaster. Reagan’s “star wars” did serve to enrich US corporations — at the expense of domestic priorities — but the claim that it drove the Soviet Union to surrender is a myth. Reagan’s unwavering support for South African apartheid, his invasion of Grenada, his ruthless and expensive support for so-called “freedom fighters” in El Salvador, Angola and, most of all, Afghanistan exemplify American power at its worst. The Reagan administration and its successors played a significant role in fostering the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
— David Lelyveld
Though commonly used as instruments of patronage, the Padma awards are still prestigious. That L.K. Advani and Parkash Singh Badal have been awarded the Padma Vibhushan is curious. I pity the legendary Dilip Kumar, who will now have to be counted among these politicians.
— S.S. Sandhu