Why Modi matters

Never has India had a prime minister like Narendra Modi. A self-made man whose father sold tea at a railroad station, his blunt style, poor English, and disdain for social graces have made him as distasteful to India’s traditional ruling class as he is popular elsewhere. Mr. Modi, a barrel-chested man with a neatly trimmed white beard and mustache, is the first leader of a provincial state to win India’s top political prize. “He is a doer … who could galvanize the country,” says Gurcharan Das, a multinational company executive turned author.

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