Many in the Opposition believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to return for a second term after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The South Koreans, it appears, have more confidence in Modi's election winning abilities. On Tuesday, the visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in invited the Indian PM to visit his country in 2020.
During his visit to New Delhi, the South Korean leader and Modi got along well. On Monday, Moon had travelled in the Delhi metro with Modi to Noida to jointly inaugurate the "world's largest phone factory". The visiting leader was also treated to a colourful traditional Indian dance performance in the evening that was organised for him by Modi.
The Indian PM said the credit for initiating the peace process in the Korean peninsula went to President Moon. Clearly, the South Koreans know something about Modi that the Opposition doesn't.
Language no barrier
Beginning the coming monsoon session of Parliament, members of Rajya Sabha can speak in any of the 22 languages listed in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has arranged simultaneous interpretation facility for five more languages — Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Santhali and Sindhi.
After assuming office last year, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had assured he would take measures to enable members to speak in any of the 22 listed languages. “In a multilingual setting such as the Parliament, members must not feel handicapped or inferior to others due to language constraints,” Naidu said at the induction ceremony for interpreters on Tuesday.
The Rajya Sabha has simultaneous interpretation service for 12 languages. For five languages — Bodo, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi and Nepali — it loans interpreters from the Lok Sabha.
Keeping her cool
Rarely does External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lose her sangfroid, but the last couple of weeks have been difficult for her on social media. Going by her tweets on Tuesday, Swaraj seems to have regained her sense of humour. When a harried Indian citizen tweeted to her angrily about a problem she was facing, another asked: “Why is she using harsh language against the minister?” Swaraj replied: “Don’t feel bad. The External Affairs Minister is listening to only harsh language these days.”