Modi in UK

As Modi speaks of Sufis and tea at Wembley, UK's Cameron insists Acche Din are on the way

The prime minister's speech mostly covered familiar territory, with little acknowledgment of his party's loss in Bihar.

If you were not paying attention to local Indian politics, you wouldn't have noticed anything different about Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Yet another major venue, tens of thousands of rapturous fans, an Indian cultural extravaganza and a speech that was filled with all the hallmarks of the patented Modi-Diaspora script. Funnily enough, it fell to British Prime Minister David Cameron to update Modi's Lok Sabha campaign slogan, acche din aane wale  hai (the good times are coming).

"They said a chaiwallah would never govern the world's largest democracy but he proved them wrong," Cameron, who seemed thoroughly overwhelmed by the 60,000-strong crowd at London's Wembley Stadium, said. "He rightly said acche din aane wale hai, but with his energy, with his vision, with his ambition, I would go one further and say this, acche din zaroor ayega (the good times will definitely come)."

The fact that these good times are still in the future has become a bit of a bitter note for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, now constantly taunted by questions of when acche din are actually going to come. Coming so soon after the biggest setback to his national ambitions since becoming prime minister, with the people of Bihar firmly rejecting the BJP last weekend, Modi barely veered off of script with almost no acknowledgment of anything having changed.

Yet there were some changes in his tone, apparent to those who might have followed his speeches over the last year.

The first interesting theme was along the lines of what more economically right wing supporters of the prime minister have long been pushing the government to address.

Modi's second theme, picked up immediately afterwards, was a little more brazen considering his party's loss in Bihar is widely attributed to its use of divisive politics as a campaign strategy. "World leaders tell me that they run smaller countries and have so many problems, but they ask, ‘tell us Modiji, how do 125 crore people in your country live so peacefully and in harmony?"

This suggestion of perfect harmony would perhaps find a few sceptics in Punjab, currently seeing farmer agitations and religious protests, or Uttar Pradesh, where a man was killed on suspicion of eating beef, or Karnataka, where debates over a long-dead emperor led to the death of a man.

Modi addressed this too later in the speech, falling back on what is now a cliche for him: Criticising the media.

The prime minister took a brief, careful digression to talk specifically about Islam, not a subject he is comfortable discussing (at least in public). "I sometimes feel if the Sufi tradition was stronger and better understood in Islam, no one would pick up guns."

The rest of the speech covered familiar territory: Jan Dhan Yojana, anti-corruption, electrification, global warming and terror. Modi made fun of how little sun Britain gets, but nevertheless called on the United Kingdom to join his Solar Alliance initiative.

There was one prominent acronym: First Develop India, alongside Foreign Direct Investment. And there was one familiar old-Indian-uncle joke: Modi took the audience from James Bond to Brooke Bond, the tea company, to the new rupee-denominated bond India is floating on the London Stock exchange. Modi also made a big enough deal about announcing an Ahmedabad-London flight for Air India, one of many nods to the vast Gujarati audience.

As always, setting down the very point of addressing such large diasporic audiences, Modi ended his speech with a call to action. “Whatever the colour of your passport, you are bound to me by the colour of your blood,” the prime minister said. “The country is waiting for you. Come, move forward with India."

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.