In March 2016, in a speech before the UN General Assembly, Modi said that India was a “great power” which could “provide hope to the world”. The word “great” is important. It implies that India is powerful, but also that it has grown and expanded in power. Its growth has been phenomenal.
Modi also said that India was a great military power. He did not say great for the size of its military or for the number of its soldiers, just great for its potential in terms of future growth and technological prowess.
As an aside, I am quite impressed with this comparison:
Modi’s speech is interesting because it shows how he sees his role as leader of a rising country with huge potential and other leaders seeing their roles as those of counterweights or even rivals to him (the US, Russia).
But he also makes statements like this one on India’s defense capability:
“We are confident that our defence forces will be able to face any challenge.”
He then adds: “I think we can only outgrow what we have today.”
Modi also looks at the economy and says things like this:
“Our economy will continue to grow at over 7% annually, though it may not be as fast as some people would like.”
He then adds “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reduced interest rates by 25 basis points”, which is good news for small businesses but bad news for industrialists because it means that Indian companies are forced to pay less interest on loans and repayments than they would otherwise be able to under normal conditions. Businesses also take two years longer to recover from recessions than they used to do before – so there are definitely downsides here too. In fact there are many downsides in the Indian economy across all sectors – poor business environment, poor infrastructure, low wages… So why does Modi think things will get better? He doesn’t know how much better; he just thinks he does so because he’s been doing so for long enough (and therefore believes in something sustainable). In fact Modi’s economic policy has been widely criticised by economists worldwide because there simply isn’t any good evidence showing that his economic policies have worked more than they have failed miserably –
Modi and Putin are two very different leaders
A lot of people have been comparing Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin. They are both strong leaders, they both have a nationalistic appeal and they are very charismatic. In fact, they’re almost exactly the same: strong, charismatic leaders who want to lead their countries by example.
But there is one thing that sets them apart; it’s in their internal politics: Modi as prime minister, Putin as president.
Both men are dictators, but there are key differences between them. One too many:
-Modi is not a dictator in the strict sense of the word. He is not even a dictator at all — his power rests on a coalition of political parties and so he can’t be described as one single person exercising dictatorship (though he does wield considerable power). As for dictatorship, well let’s just say that he isn’t Hitler or Mao or Saddam Hussein but he certainly isn’t a democrat either (which is pretty much why his party guyed are so supportive of him).
-Putin is a dictator in the more meaningful sense — he has absolute power (the first time I heard that term was from Paul Craig Roberts); this makes him an authoritarian leader who only rarely gives anyone else any leeway to do what they want (he has made many concessions to democratic politics). And this also means that he can be described as a true totalitarian — though again there is no single word for such an extreme ruler; “dictator” would probably be too weak a word to describe how he operates.
So there you go: Modi versus Putin is much closer than many people might think (they’re both strongmen who use authoritarian methods to gain power); but neither man fits any one of the three boxes listed above: so which dictator do you think Modi and Putin are? Do you think Hitler or Mao was more like Stalin? Or Stalin more like Hitler? Or Roosevelt more like Mao? Or Roosevelt more like Stalin? Which dictator do you think Modi and Putin are? We do hope your answer reflects your style of analysis; if it’s anything other than liberal democracy then we’d love to hear your own opinion!
Both have been compared to each other in the past
For the last few weeks we have been talking about political leadership and personalities, particularly in the context of India. There is a common complaint from many Indians that politicians are corrupt, but also that they can be trusted as not to sell off national assets for personal gain. This is true: Modi has done exactly what he promised to do during his election campaign; he has reduced corruption in government. He has also increased economic growth and held up the country as one of its most successful on a global scale.
If this sounds familiar to you, it should: Russia’s Vladimir Putin is doing exactly what he promised during his election campaign – he held up Russia as one of the most successful countries on a global scale (and even improved upon it). But the similarities end there. While Modi’s brand of nationalism (which is not particularly popular in Russia) is appealing to certain segments of the population, Putin’s brand of nationalism appeals to all segments of the population.
That makes him much more popular than Modi among Russians; that makes him much more popular among Russians than Indians; and that makes him much more popular among Russians than Indians. This does not mean that there isn’t some overlap between these two brands of nationalism: people who are attracted to Putin’s brand probably feel quite similar about Modi too and so India under Modi could be more like Russia than it would have been if Modi had continued on his predecessor’s path.
But both brands are different enough from each other (at least in their imagery) and both countries have huge diversity within their own population that this doesn’t affect their ability to compete with each other on a level playing field.
Can you guess which communist dictator is which?
The two leaders are fascinating in that they are polar opposites. Xi Jinping is a “prince”, someone who has been groomed for power for decades and is now finally getting his chance. Modi is a “kings”, someone who has risen to power by being an effective politician (not a politician at all). The two PMs belong to very different political camps but have the same desire to make India great again.
The similarity isn’t limited to their politics of course; both are likeable political icons, successful businessmen, and people who make good decisions on the day-to-day basis. However, there is a difference: Xi Jinping has one foot in China’s past while Modi has one foot in India’s future. His policies are more inclusive than those of his predecessor; he wants India to be a nation that offers its citizens hope rather than security.
He wants India to become a global player; he wants India to thrive and prosper not just as an economic power but as a world player too. He knows this can only happen if India is politically independent from the grip of its neighbours and internal politics is peaceful. He believes that Indian society needs to be modernized without being Westernized — it needs to embrace technology and become digitally literate so that it can compete in the 21st century.
Angry against corruption
And Xi also knows that India cannot be left behind by China or any other country for that matter (which is why he went out of his way during the campaigns last year). He does not want anyone else’s economy or market dominance over India (he sees it as his own national interest). Xi also believes deeply in “Chinese Dream”: having children educated in Chinese schools, studying Chinese history and culture for four years (before moving on to study in Europe or America), returning home every summer for rest etc., but also believes strongly that there must be order at home so no one will try to disrupt it with their own ideas/ideas/politics etc.
Modi believes strongly too: there must be order and stability within our society so no one can take away what we have earned through our hard work over decades of sacrifice (and yes he does want to leave behind some parts of our history too); we need strong laws so no one will attack us; we need strong leaders who will lead us forward instead of allowing politicians who think they should get everything done; we need strong
2. The Early Years
Modi’s popularity and the rise of BJP’s national aspirations are often discussed. Both Modi and Putin are well-known for their leadership style, which is quite similar to that of BJP’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The two leaders have also shared some similarities in their approach to public relations as well as governance.
Both leaders have also been criticized for using divisive tactics in their campaigns against competitors, polarizing voters and forcing them to choose between national interests and personal interests.
Perhaps this is a way of saying that both leaders decided to use the levers at their disposal for the benefit of the people, rather than the other way around. There are also many differences between them, however.
The differences can be seen on several counts:
• Modi is a divisive individual while Putin is a pragmatic leader who understands how to leverage his political capital in a way opposite to Modi’s brand of polarizing politics. This means that Putin’s decisions will likely not be based on ideology but more pragmatically on what he sees as expedient outcomes.
• Modi has been accused of being authoritarian while Putin has been accused of being a technocrat who does not believe that society should be run by politicians (as it tends to be in India) but instead by technocrats with vast experience in business management. This means that Modi’s decisions will most likely not be based on ideology but more pragmatically on what he sees as expedient outcomes. On this count, despite many differences, they share similarities: both leaders have used divisive tactics in their campaigns against competitors; they have both used the levers at their disposal for the benefit of the people, rather than the other way around; they have both been accused of being authoritarian and tactically pragmatic respectively; and they are both out there defining markets just like we define ours (with very different results).
Modi was born into a poor family in India
It’s a widely known fact that the two most popular leaders in the world are Russian president Vladimir Putin and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Both are strongmen who have shown themselves to be very adept at controlling the political narrative, with their respective governments often being portrayed as victims of outside forces (a convenient way to sell fossil fuels). However, Putin and Modi both share a common characteristic: they were born into modest circumstances.
Born into poverty, the high-profile leaders have managed to make a great deal of money from their booming economies. Modi was born in a small village on India’s western coast, while Putin was born into one of Russia’s wealthiest families. The similarities between Modi and Putin may seem superficial, but they can nonetheless have significant implications for Indian business prospects as well as for Indian and Russian relations with each other.
Modi has been praised for his potential to help India become a more prosperous nation, but this is not exactly the same as the kind of development that is happening in Russia right now. Despite its impressive GDP growth rate—it is currently at 6%—Russia is still struggling with widespread poverty and economic disparity; there is widespread unemployment; and millions of Russians are forced to flee their homes due to economic concerns.
By contrast, in India the government has succeeded in providing an education system that is considered one of the best in Asia. The cost of living has dropped dramatically; there are few major infrastructure issues; and India’s public sector net debt stands at about zero percent (it was above 100 percent under previous regimes). India has also achieved much success by focusing primarily on developing its economy through exports rather than through large import purchases.
These facts could be particularly useful to both countries as they seek ways of combating China’s growing economic clout and influence on global finance markets (in particular, by building up their own financial sectors), while also furthering their own national interests by helping deals with global companies such as Apple or Samsung Electronics get off the ground.
Modi himself has faced criticism regarding how his government handles corruption during its tenure so far (for example during last year’s loan defaults), but he is also likely responsible for improving this situation somewhat since he took office in 2013: he appointed senior bureaucrats who had no prior experience in public service; created new ministries for foreign trade, transport, defense procurement; and brought about concrete measures against corruption like reforming government procurement rules so that it would no longer be possible for companies
Putin was born in Russia to a working class family
As you know, Modi was born to a middle-class family in 1969. This is certainly not the same as Vladimir Putin’s family:
For starters, Vladimir Putin was born in Tula, Russia to a Moscow-born father.
Second, he is the third son of four children and has no brothers or sisters.
And third, he is a close relative of former President Boris Yeltsin.
However, there are several other differences between the two men:
Modi’s father is an engineer who moved his family from Pune to Mumbai when Modi was barely a year old. He took up his engineering degree at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi and then went on to work in the defence sector until 1990 when he retired with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). In 1990, Modi enrolled at IIT Bombay where he earned an MSc degree in computer science in 1991 and joined Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as a software engineer three years later.
Modi’s political career started at IIT Bombay where he worked with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his brother Rajesh – who would serve as India’s first foreign minister under Prime Minister Narendra Modi — before moving to Silicon Valley. He worked for Microsoft for 29 years until June 2015 when it announced that it had renamed him CEO and co-founder of its cloud computing arm Microsoft Azure . After just four months on the job, he resigned to focus on Modi’s campaign for prime minister . When asked about this during an interview with CNN-IBN , Modi said that “I didn’t want to become another person.” “Some people call me ‘Son of Bill,’ but I call myself ‘Son of India’ . And who am I? I am Son of Pune” . A day later , on Twitter, Modi wrote: ” To all those who have been asking about my resignation, it was not because I like going around calling myself ‘Son-of’ or ‘Pune.’ It was because I wanted to give back & serve my country.” He added: “The only difference between @narendramodi & me is that @narendramodi likes tweeting while @narendramodi serves.”
Both men had humble beginnings
How can you tell who is the real leader of India?
With Modi, it’s easy. He’s a “man of the people” who, unlike his predecessors, doesn’t play to the media and has a penchant for addressing the nation as “Haiyya Sahab” (Dear Brother). He talks to them directly and doesn’t shy away from making controversial statements. And he sings three times a day, too!
With Putin, it’s different. For one thing, he grew up in a very unusual family: his mother was born in Kazakhstan and his father was born in Chechnya. This certainly makes him stand out from other leaders such as Obama or even Modi (who are also part-Kazakh), but I also feel that he is much more interesting than Modi because…
• he was there when things were different. In some ways, he is still around to experience something new and strange; his experience will be different from those of many other leaders.
• He grew up in an environment with no tradition of political leaders at all; if you want to know what kind of leader politicians are, look at how they treat their families and how they treat their country. There are very few examples in history of politicians doing what Modi did or would do today: advocating for development or opening up to foreign investors; working against corruption with human rights initiatives; seeking reforms to help people get access to healthcare and education; fighting against organized crime; etc., etc., etc.
So if you want to know who Modi is — listen closely when he speaks about what this country needs for its future — there will be plenty of similarities between the two men (if not exactly the same), but that doesn’t mean that we can expect everyone else will discover them too (I don’t think we can expect everyone else on earth will be familiar with Narendra Modi).
Even so, I think it is worth mentioning that there have been other leaders who were raised in similar political environments: Adolf Hitler grew up in Austria-Hungary during World War II (where Jews had experienced anti-Semitic attacks) where anti-Semitism was not traditionally tolerated by the state; Fidel Castro grew up as part-Cuban in a country where anti-Semitism was not traditionally tolerated by the state (but then again no one had ever met an American president before); Nasser came from Egypt where anti
3. Their Rises to Power
It is a truism that “there are no coincidences”, but one of the most remarkable things about Donald Trump is that he has managed to navigate his way through an impossible situation and become president of the United States.
This isn’t just luck. It was a calculated strategy (from the beginning). He knew that he wouldn’t be able to overcome the opposition from within his own party (despite having tremendous ability, charm and experience) and that he would also need foreign support from Russia (which has made great inroads into American politics, despite sanctions). So he went out and got that support, which appears to have been critical in his success. This isn’t just luck; it is a skillful use of foreign policy expertise trumped only by Donald Trump himself.
And this is where Modi is different: while Trump knows exactly what he needs, Modi doesn’t know anything about running a country (or governing it). He doesn’t even have a worldview. He is riding on the coat-tails of India as never before. And it isn’t just him; this approach has spread to China too where Xi Jinping was able to take advantage of Modi’s popularity with the Indian masses by aggressively promoting his own narrative of progress and development. This is how you get a superpower; this means you can do whatever you want with any country, provided you can market your version of progress well enough. And Modi knows how to do that!
Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014
Modi is much admired in India for his charisma, a bit of a bombastic persona, and his loyalty to the BJP. He is popular because he speaks in his own voice and because he talks tough on issues like terrorism, corruption and farmers’ suicide.
He has managed to avoid being seen as a typical politician — which is saying something — due to his ability to simultaneously compromise with Modi’s party, as well as seeming independent of it.
He has been criticized for showing too much deference to the United States and American-led institutions, but he is also able to maintain close ties with China — an uncomfortable combination.
Modi may be liked by many Indians (and the rest of the world), but that’s not enough; you have to like him too.
Putin is admired for his perceived loyalty to Russia and its past greatness, coupled with typically Russian style hardball tactics in foreign policy. He is feared for being unpredictable (always looking for a pretext) and for being unafraid to take big risks or make big deals (however improbable they may seem).
But Putin enjoys quite a degree of popularity in Russia itself: polls show that 55% of Russians approve of him while only 36% disapprove. Maybe they don’t know what they don’t know? Maybe they just know that if they don’t approve it then there must be some problem? Or maybe it might be that this guy Putin scares them so much that they want someone else to take care of them? It really doesn’t matter; Russia has always been Russia, always will be Russia and we just hope that it will stay so forever more!
Putin has been President of Russia since 2012
Modi is the President of India who, despite being an outsider and a civilian, is running a country run by the army.
Putin is the President of Russia who, despite being an outsider and a civilian, is running a country run by the police.
They both have an authoritarian streak: Modi has banned all forms of criticism on his Twitter account.
They both have strong control over their supporters: Putin has been described as the “lovely dictator” who uses “a mixture of charm and coercion” to keep his supporters in line.
They both see themselves as first among equals: Modi claims that he is not “some poor man with nothing to offer”, but rather “a common man with humble roots” who heard about Mahatma Gandhi from his father. Putin wants to be remembered as someone who kept Russia at peace during the Cold War – and won it for himself by being tough on Communism. Both men are also ruthless in their use of violence to achieve their goals.
Modi has said that those who don’t like it should move out (though this has been met with criticism – how can you tell which ones are real?), while Putin says that if people don’t follow orders they will be shot (though this hasn’t stopped him from human rights violations).
Both men are also paranoid of being seen as weak people: Putin says he would never work with anyone who wasn’t “strong”. Modi says that he’ll “never even speak to terrorists”, but no one is sure what he means by “terrorists”.
Both men have done bad things for their country (that’s why they’re called Communists): Putin has attacked China and Ukraine, Modi has attacked Pakistan and Muslims in general. Both men have killed citizens for politics (this isn’t surprising given their respective authoritarianism): Putin killed protesters in 2011, while Modi ordered extrajudicial killings of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Both men are effective at cultivating support from their military (that’s why they won elections).
Modi may not be able to bring democracy to India through elections – he needs support from the army instead – but he can bring extrajudicial executions and mass arrests to bear on opponents.
Finally, both men are likely to lead India into nuclear war – though perhaps not quite so soon as we might expect: under two-term President Obama, it was expected that India would go nuclear within a decade or two; under Prime Minister Narendra Modi it seems.
This is not a common topic but it’s a very important one. “Authoritarian” here is a term used as an adjective to describe how leaders can be viewed as controlling or distant from the people they lead. Generally, there are two flavors of authoritarian leadership: 1) where the leader is perceived as distant and manipulative (internal power struggles), and 2) where the leader is seen as distant and authoritarian (external power struggles).
Modi has been accused of being an authoritarian because he has had very few external critics. More importantly, he has been accused of being a democratic leader because he has had no internal critics and seems to have had none at all. This does not mean that Modi doesn’t have any authoritarian tendencies, but that his authoritarianism is naturally moderated by democratic institutions. This is especially true in India — either Modi realizes this or India’s democracy allows him to do it.
Putin, on the other hand, has been accused of being an authoritarian because his domestic politics are not considered “democratic” in the West and many of his actions such as supporting oligarchs and blocking media coverage need to be understood within that framework. Putin also became known for taking some very extreme actions under President Vladimir Putin which were seemingly out of line with democratic norms, such as annexing Crimea in 2014 and blocking access to Internet in parts of Russia during the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
This may provide support for Putin’s position in terms of domestic politics but does not help us understand what kind of leadership he uses abroad, especially when sending troops into Ukraine without clear justification or backing from Western governments .
4. Their Policies
People often ask, “What are the similarities between Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin?”
They are both ‘new’ leaders who have been in power for many years, they both came to power very young, they were each others’ political rivals at one point or another, and they each hold a strong belief in “Make In India”.
The similarities between them are obvious: both come from the same region (both currently live in India) and both have had interesting lives (both grew up as wealthy kids whose fathers died young). They have both served as Prime Minister of India and Russia. They have also had some different experiences before coming to power.
Modi was a small time politician before taking on big politics; Putin was an army officer who went into politics through a political party. Both were born into privileged families; Modi has a very large net worth and Putin is very well known for his wealth. Both have large groups of supporters who seem to care just as much about them as the people of their own country do.
But there are also some differences that make this a bit more complicated:
Modi is younger than Putin (63 vs 61) but he has been in power longer than him (14 years vs 8 years)
Modi is not an oligarch like Putin — he has made his money as a businessman rather than through his family’s business
Modi is not from Siberia (his father was from Gujarat but moved to Mumbai); he was born and brought up in Delhi rather than Moscow or Siberia
Putin came to power through the KGB instead of creating a political party
Modi is not an authoritarian like Putin — he has done much better when compared with other Indian politicians at having some degree of freedom from direct control by the government whereas Putin was under constant control by the Soviet government until 1991, when it collapsed and Putin became President of Russia
Modi does not support China like Putin does: Modi does not want India to become too dependent on China while Putin says there should be strong ties with China, especially given that Russia helped China defeat Japan in World War II (and then China aid Russia during its war against Georgia).
The similarities end there though; because while Modi did take advantage of the popularity that came along with starting two major new companies (the tea company Future Group and Adani Group), he did so without becoming part of any oligarchy or bringing wealth into his family.
Modi has been criticized for his human rights record and for curtailing press freedom
It has been a common stereotype that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a staunch supporter of conservative, right-wing politics and is a supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In reality, Modi has been very critical of some aspects of the political system. He has often argued that the BJP’s alliance with the Congress party is based on a “one man, one vote” system.
There are many ways in which this can be said to be true:
• Modi was critical of the VHP in 2014 for handling protests by anti-Sikh activists at Jallianwala Bagh during which thousands were killed by British colonial troops. He then made a controversial statement that all parties should work together to ensure an “electoral result” and he supported Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to end an earlier ban on Indian cricket team playing abroad
• Modi has also been critical about the Indian judiciary and its role in criminal justice, stating:
“The judiciary system is not leading us to development… The court verdicts are becoming more and more faulty… If decisions are taken through court verdicts then they will not be able to bring development… we need a better judiciary and we need courts that work for society rather than against society.”
• Modi has been critical of India’s nuclear weapons program and threatened to withdraw official cooperation with Pakistan citing similar reasons as those mentioned above.
In short, it is fair to say that Modi has been critical on many fronts. These are all things that merit criticism, but they are not at all unique or particularly extraordinary compared to other recent world leaders who have acted in these ways (Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf following similarly troubling views about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program). There have also been calls from other critics who would like him to do more in these areas (such as former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard), but he hasn’t regularly done anything such as do away with his general opposition toward nuclear weapons and there hasn’t been any evidence suggesting he would try doing so if given the opportunity (although this could change if he feels like it).
The fact remains that there are many areas where Modi falls short:
• He doesn’t seem interested enough in using his office for social causes;
• He doesn’t seem interested enough in addressing inequality;
Putin has been accused of violating human rights and stifling dissent
Here are some of the key similarities between Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, and Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia:
1. Both of them are renowned for getting things done.
2. Both use twitter to communicate with their followers.
3. Both of them have a history of building huge followings on their online channels that they leverage to get things done.
4. Both are known for being uncompromising in their approach towards opposition leaders and suppressing dissent (no one is safe).
5. Both have been accused of human rights violations and stifling dissent (Narendra Modi has been accused by India’s opposition as well).
Both men have been likened to dictators by their opponents
The Indian prime minister, Pranab Mukherjee, and the Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are both considered to be strongmen who have made their countries strong. But are they alike? In a new book on the complex relationship between India and Russia by a senior Russian military officer and analyst, the parallels between Modi’s leadership style and Putin’s are striking. They may not be as clear-cut as some might suppose. But they are important nonetheless.
The book by Lt Col Vladimir Aleksandrovich Gusev is called “Modi’s Road to Diplomacy: A Guide to Indian-Russian Relations Since 2008” and was published earlier this month by Oxford University Press. The book is based on interviews conducted with Gusev by the author during an extensive trip to India in January 2008 for a conference at which he was invited as chief guest.
“Modi’s Road to Diplomacy” has been called “a remarkable work of non-commissioned military history” that “examines in depth the rise of Narendra Modi from humble origins in Gujarat up to his meteoric rise from power.”
It also sheds light on how Russia went from being one of the world’s largest importers of oil to becoming one of its biggest consumers, concluding that “Putin’s policies have had a significant influence on India’s economic trajectory over the past decade.”
“Modi was a leader who changed the face of India. Putin is a leader who has changed the face of Russia.” These are the words used by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to describe his predecessor, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The two leaders are different in many facets, including their economic philosophies, but they have some similarities as well: both were born into political families, both came to power after assuming leadership roles, and both have been repeatedly accused of “sabotaging” democracy. Let us consider each country’s history and leadership in this post — then we will move on to our conclusion (that no matter what you think about these leaders, it is unlikely that either one can be replaced).
A lot has happened since 1947 when India became independent from Britain (except for Pakistan which declared independence from Britain in 1947). When the British left, India was a poor country with little infrastructure and no tradition of democracy. After independence and civil war in 1947-48 between supporters of Jawaharlal Nehru (founder of modern India) and those led by Subhas Chandra Bose (of which Bose would eventually become prime minister), the Congress Party emerged victorious and ran a coalition government until 1964 when Indira Gandhi took over and ruled for 23 years until she was ousted by her own army chief in 1975. During this period India grew rapidly with China being its largest trading partner and one that it would be very unhappy not to keep as it provided resources needed for growth. This new relationship with China was coupled with increased military spending which helped give rise to the export-based manufacturing economy that we see today. However at this point the country had a significant trade deficit due mainly to its large net foreign debt — which is why there was such strong opposition to any kind of foreign investment after several prominent business leaders went missing under suspicious circumstances in 1978-79.
As I have mentioned before when talking about “fiscal space” it is important to remember that fiscal space refers not only to how much money governments can spend without running out of funds but also how much room there is for fiscal expansion above existing levels — or contraction below them if need be. The former is covered by fiscal consolidation while the latter refers to what happens when things get out of control (like France did after World War II). India did experience fiscal expansion during all three phases of its history because as I noted earlier, it was growing rapidly at this
So, can you guess which communist dictator is which?
The names of the two leaders seem to be synonymous with a certain brand of politics. Both are hugely popular in India and Russia. Both are authoritarian, both are publicly-oriented and both are anti-Western. Both have serious concerns about the future of the country. But there’s one big difference: Modi has been compared to Trump by some commentators because he is seen as a reformer, while Putin is considered a typical dictator who does more harm than good.
The reason behind such comparisons lies in different ways of thinking about politics. Modi is known for his transformational leadership style, where he changes things from top down rather than from the bottom up. And this has won him much respect and popularity among the people but not without causing controversy (that’s why he draws criticism from other political parties). He may not be as popular as Trump because he doesn’t seem like an action-oriented personality; his public speeches do not often draw many chants of “Vande Mataram” (the national anthem during election rallies) or “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (the jingoistic slogan adopted by Modi during his campaign).
Even though Putin has led Russia through some rather tumultuous times since becoming president, he has never been seen as a revolutionary leader (although it needs to be pointed out that he was very much in favour of democracy till very recently). It would certainly not be fair to compare them with Trump because one is based in reality and the other in fairy tales.
So which of these two leaders does Modi resemble? The answer depends on your perspective:
For me, it depends on what my target audience is like:
This might explain why I find Putin so fascinating: people who see themselves or their country through a nationalist lens will love him, while people who see themselves or their country through an internationalist lens will hate him.
In any event, here’s my version that tries to make sense of what Modi could mean for India moving forward: