New Delhi, Sep 20 (): CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who interviewed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that despite the previous experience of US denying him a visa, the PM is very pro-American.
Modi told the interviewer in a CNN World exclusive, that cooperation between India and US must extend to many regions. The interviewer says Modi is keen be a statesman globally puttng the past behind and looking towards the future.
CNN-IBN interview was aired globally ahead of Modi’s visit to US. CNN interviewer who had met many global heads says that the 64-year-old PM is among the sharpest. The interviewer told that unlike other leaders who had formal schooling and was more of textbook like reactions, Modi who had no such background said it was his journeys to the villages that taught him lessons on the needs of the nation. He told CNN that he slept in the villages and realized what the rural India needs. CNN interviewer says that is why Modi had emphasized on hygiene.
CNN interviewer who had not met Modi before said that years back at Indian Express Adda, he had said Modi was a regional player and not a national leader. He said that he underestimated him and probably if he had interacted then his opinion would have been different.
Modi told CNN that he was not the one to announce schemes that cannot be implemented and was focussed on development which he wanted to reach to all sections. He wanted to remove the religious divide. Replying to a query about Al-Qaeda’s call for Jihad in India, Modi said that they were living with a false hope that Indian Muslims will take it up as they would sacrifice their lives for India wherever they live.
Muslim clerics have slammed Modi’s remark saying that they have been faithful to the land always and now they do not need a certificate from Modi. MJ, Akbar the journalist who joined BJP said Modi had said that he wants Muslims to carry Quran and computer and had always faith in the community.
Congress said that Modi was saying this to appease the Muslims in US who had opposed giving him a visa. CNN interviewer however rubbishes this theory as he found that Modi does not indulge in dramatics. Zakaria found Modi to have a sense of humour but not too over-friendly.
Modi spoke in Hindi and CNN gave a voice-over and ran a scroll. The interview, a first by Modi after becoming PM will be aired on Sunday 4 PM and 7 PM.