Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Sep 2018 12:18:58










REGIONAL integration has a place of priority in Mr. Narendra Modi’s foreign policy in the neighbourhood. Enhancing people-to-people relations and incremental diplomacy in the form of trade, energy as well as tourism with south Asian countries has become a political imperative that India must pursue with new vigour. By calling for greater people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka during a meeting with Lankan MPs, Prime Minister Mr. Modi promptly pushed the human element needed in a caring foreign policy designed for smaller nations like Lanka. India and Lanka share historical, spiritual and cultural ties that have been bolstered over the years with people-to-people engagements. In the present circumstances, where China is working overtime to woo India’s traditional allies in the neighbourhood, New Delhi’s focus on people-centric development co-operation projects is just what the doctor ordered. Nepal PM Mr. K P Oli’s hobnobbing with Beijing is one example why India must reach out with tender kid-gloves to win back their trust.


TWELVE years ago when a lean young man was flown in to India from the Three Lions’ ‘A’ tour of the West Indies, purists in English cricket were apprehensive of the move given the dust-bowls India offered to their opponents. Alastair Cook, the ‘eyeliner boy’, calmed their nerves with a splendid century on debut in Nagpur. How England has celebrated this left-handed opener for next 12 years! Shorn of the natural elegance a southpaw carries, Cook’s ability to build his own effectiveness with stubborn resistance at the top of the order will be the greatest memory England will carry from Wednesday. The English dressing room is going to miss a cool influence that Cook used to bring. His orthodox but pleasant demeanour was at the most a cloak to hide a mentally strong player inside. England’s victory over India in 2012 had the stamp of Alastair Cook all over. He led with monumental innings and inspired the team with impeccable grace. The ovation Cook got after a record ton in his last innings told how England loved their Masterchef.