Modi’s hug diplomacy: Abe to Obama, all get PM’s personal touch
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in the way he is now famous for: a warm hug.
By now, Modi’s way of greeting world leaders with a hug is commonly known, so much so that ‘hug-spotting’ is now a part and parcel of Modi’s diplomatic meetings. International headlines have been devoted to Modi’s penchant for hugging
During Modi’s visit to the US, he swooped in for no less than three hugs during his joint address with American president Donald Trump. Needless to say, the hugs outdid Trump’s much-talked about rigorous, iron-grip handshakes.
Of course, this was not the first time Modi had embraced a US president -- Barack Obama was treated to hugs and warmth all the times he met the Indian prime minister during his tenure. In 2015, Modi welcomed Obama, the chief guest at that year’s Republic Day parade, with a tight embrace.
The hugs land a little awkwardly at times, like this clumsy embrace with then French president Francois Hollande who was the guest at the 2016 Republic Day celebrations.
Modi continued this tradition, hugging newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron on his visit to Paris, where they met to discuss mutual interests, including ways to counter terrorism and climate change.
An effusive embrace has become the prime minister’s signature move to greet world leaders. During his visit to St Petersburg this June, Modi and Putin hugged in a show of solidarity. Images captured at other diplomatic meetings assert the same truth, that the Indian prime minister never shies away from a good, tight hug.
The prime minister’s bear hugs are not reserved only world leaders. CEOs and celebrities are included in the circle of warmth, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman.