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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Modi 100: From dress to digital, five style statements of PM Modi

Vishakha Saxena , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 02, 2014
First Published: 12:20 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 11:35 IST(3/9/2014)

If there's one thing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done in his 100 days in office, it is making some clear style statements — be it the way he dresses or the way he governs. Here’s a look at the top five style-meet-substance statements PM Modi has made so far.

#1 'Dressing' style

There was time when 'Modi kurtas' were a style statement of their own, so much so that the tailor who stitched these kurtas for Modi shot to fame. However, as far as 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi' is concerned, these kurtas are a thing of the past.

Crisp, well-cut suits and bright colours have got the world talking about Mr Modi. In a story titled ‘Is Modi India’s Best-Dressed Prime Minister Ever?’ the Wall Street Journal wrote the PM's "dapper looks" and clothes made him "stand out like a peacock in the country’s crowd of drably dressed politicos."

PM Modi waves to well-wishers as he leaves after visiting the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. (AFP Photo)


The monochromatic brown suit the PM wore at the Brics Summit was hailed as the one that set him apart from the rest of the leaders, save a couple of criticisms here and there.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff welcomes PM Modi upon his arrival to the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. (AFP Photo)


One of his most talked about outfits was the one he wore on Independence Day. The half-sleeved white khadi kurta paired with a saffron and green turban came in for all-round praise.

PM Modi delivers a speech from the Red Fort to mark the country's 68th Independence Day in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)

But when it comes to the PM’s style statement, the most talked about story is Troy Costa being chosen to design for the PM’s trip to the United States in September. Costa is known for his tuxedos.

#2 'Governance' style

Within days of coming to power, Modi did something no one had heard of or seen in the Centre’s power corridors. He ordered old offices be cleaned and unnecessary files be trashed.

Following PM Modi's directions, staff cleans the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Personnel in North Block. (PTI Photo)


Then, he did something even more surprising. He asked his ministers to get online and get transparent. Within days, Twitter accounts for various ministries and ministers were set up and started providing daily updates.

Essentially, Modi has followed two mantras he often talks about – clean governance and e-governance.

#3 'Dealing with neighbours' style

A country’s foreign policy is one of its most important ones and Modi has made sure he gives it the attention it needs.

The first and the strongest step he took in this direction was to invite all heads of state from SAARC countries to his swearing-in ceremony.

Another breakthrough for the PM came at the Brics Summit, where India got the presidency of the New Development Bank.

His trips to neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan have been fairly successful. He has not only reached out to the governments in these countries but also the people.

PM Modi greets thousands of people lined up on the streets while returning back from the Nepalese Parliament in Kathmandu, Nepal. (PTI Photo)


Relations with Pakistan, however, have been a mixed bag of friendly gestures and strong ground rules. 

By inviting and getting Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif to visit India for his swearing-in ceremony, Modi seemingly gave the relationship a positive direction. But the PM has not shied away from being critical of Pakistan from time to time.

He cancelled the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries scheduled for August 25, after the Pakistan high commissioner went ahead with his meeting with Hurriyat leaders. Further, while addressing Indian Army troops recently, the PM accused Pakistan of waging a ‘proxy war’ through terrorism against India.

#4 'Oratorical' style

Modi’s style is totally different to his predecessor Manmohan Singh, who was often criticised for not being vocal enough. Sharp language and a booming voice define the orator in PM Modi.

Another positive about his recent speeches has been that they encourage a change in the mindset of people — be it asking students to discuss electricity bills with their families or asking parents to question their sons and not just their daughters.

His best speech so far has been the Independence Day address, where he broke the age-old tradition of standing behind a bullet-proof windshield and speaking from a script.

#5 'Digital' style

One thing unique to Modi’s time as PM is his attention to social media. With active Twitter and Facebook accounts, the PM has used them as avenues to quickly respond to issues as they happen – be it a tragedy or a controversy.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/9/Modi_Rajnath1.jpg


The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has its own YouTube channel as well. One can find almost every speech given by the PM here.

Full Coverage: 100 Days of Modi Sarkar


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