Can Narendra Modi maintain strategic restraint, handle many egos

Written by fe Bureau | Bangalore | Updated: May 26 2014, 02:27am hrs
ShekharIt was because of Narayana Murthy's goading that I put together this book: Shekhar Gupta.
Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy is quite used to getting questions thrown at him by journalists on just about any topic every time he's at a public event. In a reversal of roles, he was at the questioning end on Saturday, in a free-wheeling conversation with the Express Group's Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta that coursed through politics, the changing face of India and its future.

The Infosys founder on Saturday launched Gupta's book, Anticipating India: The Best of National Interest, a collection from his weekly column. It was because of Murthy's goading that I put together this book, said Gupta, recounting his many interactions with the IT czar.

Given that Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister on Monday and that this country needs high GDP growth, what would be the challenges before him, was one of the queries Murthy had for Gupta.

Modi's predecessors have gifted him an orchard of low-hanging fruit, which he can pluck. The concerns are, can Modi maintain strategic restraint and can he handle many egos Gupta said. One of the key aspects would be the dynamics with national institutions such as courts or the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Bollywood also made its way into the conversation as something that heralded a change in the Indian mindset,which was previously shy of celebrating wealth.

The discussion traversed through personal anecdotes peppered with humour, drawing frequent peals of laughter from the audience, which had its share of questions. Will the Gujarat riots become a non-issue now, and what will be the future of the Aam Aadmi Party were among the questions posed.