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 Grading Modi's first 100 days in office 

 
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BECKY ANDERSON: Well, let's discuss all of this with our India bureau chief, then, Ravi Agrawal. Ravi, that was back towards the end of May. At that point, when we were working together in the New Delhi bureau, you wrote a memo to Modi. It's been 100 days since then and his landslide victory. How has he done so far?

RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INDIA BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Becky, obviously, obviously, its early days to make an assessment, assessment, but one thing has been clear so far. At the very least, Modi has been saying all of the right things. For example, he's talked about building 100 smart cities across India, ushering in ushering in a new period of growth and development across India. He's talked about creating a leaner, more efficient, efficient, cleaner government.

Now, Indian CEOs whom I've spoke to, all of them say that this is exactly the rhetoric rhetoric they wanted to hear, the rhetoric rhetoric has been spot on.

Now, some of the other things that Modi has talked about are a lot more ambitious. ambitious. He's talked about putting a toilet in every single Indian home by the year 2020. He's talked about ensuring ensuring that every single Indian has a smartphone by the year 2019.

Now, some of those kinds of statements have obviously obviously great vision, vision, but have opened him up to a little bit of criticism, critics saying, well, how are you going to do any of these things? All of that's just talk. And Modi's response to that so far has been, well, it's only been 100 days. This country needs a vision. vision. Give me more than 100 days, give me ten years. That's what he's been saying.

BECKY ANDERSON: Ravi, on that rhetoric, rhetoric, on that point, Indian politicians, of course, have often often made controversial statements about the country's many high profile cases of rape. What has Modi had to say on that?

RAVI AGRAWAL: Well, Becky, on the 15th of August, August, India's Independence Day, Modi made a landmark speech to the Indian nation and he talked about many, many things, but one of the things he did address address was rape and sexual violence in India, which has been a rampant rampant and very embarrassing embarrassing problem here. Now, what I was struck by in that speech is how he kind of reframed that debate. He changed it on its head. So, in India, usually, usually, Indian parents always worry worry about their daughters, they talk about their daughters, what are they wearing, how late are they out at night? Modi said, what about the boys? Listen in Listen in

NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA (through translator): After all, a person who is raping is somebody's son. As parents, have we asked our sons where he is going? Have those parents asked a number of questions from their sons, which they have asked their daughters? The law will take its own course, but we need to take responsibility to bring our sons, who have deviated from the right path, to bring them back.

RAVI AGRAWAL: Now, Becky, as you saw over there, it was a great statement to make in India. Six hundred million Indians, that's half of India's population, is under the age of 28. India is on the cusp cusp of a great generational change. And for all of those young Indians, to listen to a statement like that, that was actually quite quite new here in India, and a refreshing refreshing change from what politicians have said in the past. That comment from Modi played out very well very well here in the Indian media.

BECKY ANDERSON: All right. That's the domestic domestic front, Ravi. I've been struck by how active Modi has been on foreign policy, starting right with his inauguration inauguration when, of course, he invited leaders from all of India's neighbors. What's happened since then?

RAVI AGRAWAL: Well, as you say, Becky, he started off started off with a bang. That was quite quite a coup coup to not only invite the leaders of all of India's neighboring countries, including, including, I should add, Pakistan, but they also came and that was quite quite a big thing. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, came here.

Now since then, he's been on a bit of a roll roll on foreign policy. He went to visit Bhutan. Later Later on, he went to Brazil for the BRICS summit summit and he was seen hobnobbing hobnobbing with the leaders of Brazil, China and Russia.

A few weeks later, later, he was in Nepal, where he wowed Nepalis by actually speaking in Nepali in their parliament. And later later next week, he's going to Japan, where he's going to have talks with Shinzo Abe, India and Japan on the cusp cusp of forming a great partnership in Asia, according according to both leaders.

So, all of that's going on and then there's the other side of the traffic, where you've had a lot of leaders from other countries come here. You've had the foreign ministers of the UK and France. And of course, you've had John Kerry come here as well. And all of these countries are very interested in interested in where India is headed.

BECKY ANDERSON: Good stuff. Thank you, Ravi. Ravi is the New Delhi bureau chief for CNN, reporting today on 100 days since Modi, his memo to Modi on cnn.com, written at the time.


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