Modi Needs to Show Results, Not Hype in Building India-US Ties: Tharoor
By IANS | Published: 09th December 2014 01:03 AM |
NEW DELHI: Washington is "not susceptible" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "brand of alliterative rhetoric" like the three Ds and five Ts and was looking for "results, not hype", Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said here Monday, adding that he did not see any tangible result from Modi's recent US visit.
As India and the US look ahead to US President Barack Obama's visit to India next month to attend the Republic Day parade, Tharoor said Modi's Washington visit in September end, when he held his first bilateral with Obama, was "a sobering reminder that the hard work of building strategic partnership requires lot more than skillful words, which he (Modi) is very good at".
"There were achievements, for Modi personally," Tharoor said during a panel discussion on "Modi-Obama Summit: A paradigm shift in India-US Relation" at the University of Chicago Center here, which was partnered by the Indo-American Friendship Association.
According to Tharoor, the Washington visit was an opportunity for Modi "to restore normalcy after years of being on the visa ban list" and it was a "necessary corrective of a negative image".
But Modi needs to "show the US business leaders that he is a man they can do business with. How well he can transmit words into actual solutions," he said.
"Washington is not susceptible to Modi's brand of alliterative rhetoric that we all really have been taken in in this country. The three Ds and five Ts that are so famous among Mr. Modi's audiences in India leave Washington cold," he said referring to the Modi government's agenda of five Ts - Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology and the three Ds of Democracy, Demography and Demand.
Tharoor, who is chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, said the US has "heard big soundbytes before. What they are looking for is action not words, results not hype. And that's what we are looking forward to India too, and we havn't seen enough of that".
"When that happens there will be substantive change."
He did not think that the intensive engagement between the Obama and Modi government in the last six months has resulted in "much substance, unprecedented or paradigm shift" in bilateral ties.
According to him, the "big paradigm shift" was the George Bush-Manmohan Singh nuclear deal of 2005, which he termed as "truly extraordinary".
"I thought the visit to Washington was actually a bit of a damp squib, especially after the appearance in New York and the speech in the UN. It is difficult to find anything tangible," Tharoor said, adding that he can not point to any single success or concrete deliverables in terms of defence production assistance or transfer of green tech - "nothing came out".
He said "instead, Mr. Modi was caught up in the poetically titled joint vision statement of 'Chalein Saath Saath' and joint op-ed (by Modi and Obama) and the greeting of 'kemcho'".
"These are the optics we are long used to," he said.
"There is always very little beyond the blather, bromides abounded about democracy and common values, peace and partnership", which he termed as "weasel words long being sucked of any real meaning".
He said Manmohan Singh attended the first state banquet by the Obamas in 2009.
"Throughout 2014, we have seen Modi the campaigner, we need to see Modi as the implementer, the deliverer. When that happens, then you may actually have some serious breakthrough."
"Things like 'Make in India', manufacturing promise of India, we have to show some real progress. We have to show that we can actually be the welcome home for American business. And that there are results in this country" that can be achieved, he said.