Over the past decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a prominent leader, steering India through a journey marked by accomplishments and challenges. This period has witnessed his effective leadership in both domestic and international arenas, solidifying his position as a global statesman
- PM Modi has positioned India as a significant player in the evolving global order. He has reshaped India’s policy towards the West
- Modi has successfully navigated foreign policy initiatives and challenges, bolstering India’s ties with key nations
IN May, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down on Papua New Guinea for the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit, the warm reception from Prime Minister James Marape spoke volumes about Modi’s global appeal. Marape’s embrace and gesture of touching Modi’s feet highlighted the Indian leader’s popularity that transcends borders, solidifying his status as an unchallenged national leader after nine years in power, leading a country with a staggering population of 1.4 billion.
As Prime Minister, Modi has navigated various foreign policy initiatives and challenges, bolstering India’s ties with key nations such as the US, Japan, Australia, and Bangladesh. He successfully resolved border issues with Nepal and maintained a delicate balance with China, despite territorial disputes. Criticism has been directed at his party’s alleged stance against minorities, potentially affecting relations with some South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Modi, leveraging his social media presence and diplomatic skills, has positioned India as a significant player in the evolving global order.
During the past year, Modi has achieved significant milestones, particularly in reshaping India’s policy towards the West. Shifting from a confrontational approach, the country is now viewed as a cooperative partner, especially in areas like climate change and renewable energy.
SOCIAL MEDIA STAR
Modi has a massive social media presence and a digital leadership style. He ranks among the top world leaders in terms of followers on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
On Twitter, Modi has 126 million followers on his personal and institutional accounts, twice as many as US President Joe Biden. He is the third most followed political leader on Twitter, behind former US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. On Facebook, PM Modi leads the pack with 70.8 million followers on his page and 48.8 million followers on his official page. On Instagram, Modi also tops the list with 58.8 million followers on his account and 6.1 million followers on his official account.
India’s hosting of the G20 summit in 2023 showcased commendable achievements on the global stage. During India’s G20 Presidency, over 200 meetings were held across all Indian states and union territories, culminating in a successful two-day G-20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, resulting in various deals and cooperation agreements among global leaders.
Modi’s vision includes making India a digital powerhouse, evident in the creation of public digital platforms that enhance citizens’ lives. The country’s growing base of digital consumers, driven by affordable smartphones and data, positions India to create significant economic value through digitization by 2025.
CHALLENGING DOMESTIC SCENARIO
Despite a slight dip in popularity ratings, Modi faces no credible challenge to his leadership. Even as Rahul Gandhi engages in a rhetorical battle against the Prime Minister, the impact seems minimal, as Modi’s popularity remains largely unaffected. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been significant. The GDP growth rate contracted by 7.3% in 2022-23, the lowest in four decades. Unemployment and inflation rates reached alarming levels, posing challenges for Modi’s administration. Socially, the government faced backlash due to communal violence, hate crimes, and allegations of corruption, nepotism, and crony capitalism.
Looking ahead to 2024, Modi confronts a challenging political landscape with formidable opposition leaders across the country. The relative ease of his Lok Sabha election victories in 2014 and 2019 may be a thing of the past. The result of state assembly elections in 2023 will serve as a prelude to the national election, making it a year of hard rethinking for Modi, because he has lost the sheen of a newcomer which he had in 2014 and that of an energetic Prime Minister in 2019. In the aftermath of the two-year-long pandemic and the immense economic distress it has caused the economy and the poor people, the challenge is immense.
Modi has 126 million followers on Twitter, 70.8 million followers on Facebook, and 6.1 million followers on Instagram. He is the third most followed political leader on Twitter, behind former US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump
In his youth, Modi had a fascination for scooters, a detail he shared in a talk on exam stress. Beyond politics, he has showcased his literary side by writing books and poems in Gujarati. A noteworthy achievement is his co-authorship of the song ‘Abundance in Millets,’ nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2024. This recognition marks the first time a politician has received such an honour.