The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP)prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday said both South Korea and China had utilised the hosting of the Olympic Games to 'brand' themselves and project their 'soft power', while India lost the chance by bungling in the organisation of the Commonwealth Games and making it a major scandal.
He said projection of soft power to brand a country has become much more important today than projecting military or economic strength.
"South Korea by hosting the Olympics showed what they are made of. They branded their country through the mega show. China did the same. China has already shown their military and economic power, but by hosting Olympics, they showcased their sports power too. They showcased their soft power by hosting the Games and showed their might," Modi said at a mega rally in north Delhi.
But, he said, India lost the opportunity when it hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
"We have lost the opportunity to brand India. We have harmed our country for the next 20 years," he said, adding that the mega show was marred by charges of mass corruption.
While the Olympics were held in 1988 in South Korea, China hosted these in 2010.
The concept of soft power was propounded by Oseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability of nations to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money to influence other nations and people.