The brouhaha over a blockade of Modi’s motorcade in Punjab
A security lapse was blown out of proportion but it did reveal a peculiarity of India’s politics today
It is a compliment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when I say that he has an impeccable sense of timing and drama. He has an uncanny sense of what captures the public imagination as well as an understanding of the turns of phrase that mesmerize multitudes. He has an understanding of light and dark that would make a cinematographer proud: witness his photographs near the Statue of Unity, his walk with the French President, the gentle moment on a swing with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the banks of Sabarmati river, the dramatic, fist-pumping entry to a stadium with then US President Donald Trump, or the pensive look on a train in South Africa, recreating the journey of M.K. Gandhi, and the picture-perfect filming of his making a cup of tea for Trump’s predecessor as US president, Barack Obama. These are works of art. Topping these is that ensemble image, like an impressionistic portrait, of him with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice.