The world’s most political – if not most famous – ‘Bromance’ continues.
US President Barack Obama has penned a note on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was named in Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
“As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he’s the leader of the world’s largest democracy, and his life story—from poverty to Prime Minister—reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise”, Mr Obama writes.
“Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern — a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a “digital India”, Mr Obama continues.
The leaders have developed an exceptionally warm relationship in the short time they have known each other – remarkable, in particular, for Mr Modi who was once barred from travelling to the United States over his alleged role in the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.
That warmth was never more apparent when Mr Modi surprised India by inviting the US leader to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January.
Both have broken “protocol” on numerous occasions on their visits to each other’s countries – not least when Mr Modi sauntered up the tarmac at Delhi International airport to greet and hug Mr Obama as he disembarked from Air Force One.
While Time magazine does invite world leaders to write on their counterparts for the annual list, Obama’s message carries greater significance, not only for its effusiveness but given the deepening relationship between the two nations.
Explaining the process of choosing authors for biographies, Time said: “some jobs are best understood by those who have themselves faced the fire.”