While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun fanning his charisma during his maiden US visit, the buzz that is making in the political circle of the two nations is about the differences that Modi and US President Barack Obama have in respect of traits, mannerism and working style. Interestingly, such comparisons were mostly non-existent between Obama and Manmohan Singh, even though the former Prime Minister had shared several tables with the US President at bilateral and multilateral forums from 2009 onwards. But since they reached the pinnacle of political growth by sheer hard work and enviable oratory skill, political pundits have time to zero in on the differences they have in their overall personalities. However, Americans accept that Modi is an aggressive and hard taskmaster who doesn’t have the patience for lethargy and shoddy works.
In comparison, Obama is a cool politician who lacks quick decision making, yet doesn’t yield to pressure when it comes to adopting policies of general public interest. The world knows how he didn’t bow to the Republican dominated House of Representative’s pressure tactics on the health care bill. He got the bill passed by the Congress, however, after tweaking original bill with some amendments.
With Narendra Modi, here is the similarity. He is known to be alien to the pressure. But then while Obama started dreaming of becoming America’s President at the age of 11 and as such, it became a daily routine for this young working class lad to stand before mirror for hours to practice the way to maintain facial expression, movement of eyes and fingers as that could suit American President’s personality. In that manner, he imitated John F Kennedy and Abraham Lincon.
For Modi, as per his own admission, he had no childhood dream of becoming Prime Minister. His icon was Vivekanand, who too represented sharpness and elegance and talked about self-discipline in life. Modi is a true leader who leads by front and sets examples before people through his works.
Yet, while Obama represents a country of opulence with average household income $69,821, Modi represents a country where 40 per cent are below the poverty line eking out his day on paltry Rs. 26 that is equal to $.50 . There are 500 + middle class in the country whose income is also nominal. India’s per capita income was $1570 in 2013, and ranked 120th out of 164 countries by the World Bank.
Not only that while Modi represents a country of 125 crore population, America’s population, as per the 2013 data of US Census Bureau’s population clock is, 315,183,801 of which more than 29 lakh are Indian Americans and over 35 lakh are Chinese. America’s most populous states are California (population: 37.7 million), Texas (population: 25.7 million and New York city(population:8.2 million). According to an estimate, the US is the third largest country in the world, a long way behind China and India.
In India, working places and stores are located near the Indian homes, while in America the houses are separate from work and grocery stores. The way of living in America is expensive compared to India. Education costs more in India than in America. Food is cheaper in India. Medical care is costly in America, with insurance to pay for the bills. However, in India, despite being a cheaper medical care, one has pay usually through cash. But then there is similarity, both countries allow their citizens to enjoy freedom. Even if restrictions are, they are minimal.
After all, both are democratic countries. While India is the largest democracy of the world, America is the oldest democracy of the world with Presidential system to crown the governance. This is said to be the key to the meeting points between the two nations whose relations suffered a slow pace in the last two-three years, leaving it to Prime Minister Modi to revive and activate to the 2008 year when the two countries signed the civil nuclear deal. In this regard the tone was set the way he called on American investors to participate in ‘Make in India’ programme launched on September 25, just before his departure to the US.