Modi rules Australian media headlines

By Paritosh Parasher,

Melbourne : Global glam queen Kim Kardashian must be ruing the timing of her visit to this picturesque Australian city as it is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is dominating the media headlines Down Under.

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Modi’s name is all over the electronic and print media following the conclusion of his visit to Australia Tuesday.

Modi signed a number of agreements with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott and addressed several exclusive gatherings in Melbourne Tuesday.

“Canberra rolls out red carpet for Modi” is a headline being used by a number of the media outlets to mark Modi laying a wreath in the Australian capital city’s War Memorial along with Abbott. The visuals of Modi paying homage to the Australian war heroes were beamed live to the Australian television audience.

Modi became the first Indian prime minister to address a joint session of the Australian parliament. His address in flawless English was televised live by the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from Canberra.

The Indian prime minister’s visit to Melbourne has attracted both the Australian and Indian media’s attention which could be gauged by the fact that the headline “Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott reveal new India-Australia military agreement” is the “Most Popular” headline on the portal of the leading Melbournian newspaper The Age.

Another The Age article headlined “Deeply linked destinies: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for new era with Australia” is also among the “Most Read” articles’ list.

If Modi’s media managers wanted him to be seen as a person with sense of humour, they have been successful as his reference to “shirt-fronting” (an Australian football term for a front-on challenge that knocks an opponent to the ground) in the speech to the joint session was noticed and lauded by the Australian media.

The Modi mania was not restricted just to swooning audiences and media headlines as the visit is also dominating a section of the social media. The Twitter hash-tag #modiinAustralia has been topping the trends for the last three-four days.

The proceedings of the Australian Senate, which are broadcast live through ABC Radio, were also punctuated with the reference to the various agreements Australian government representatives signed with their Indian counterparts. Like Australian media, the Senate also discussed implications of the State Bank of India offering a loan of $1 billion to India’s business moghul Gautam Adani for a mega coal mine in Queensland.

The impact of the Modi visit was also felt by the office-goers Tuesday evening as traffic around Melbourne’s Central Business District was gridlocked for hours. Besides addressing Indian and Australian business leaders at the palatial residence of Victoria’s governor, Modi also visited the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground for a banquet given in his honour by Abbott.

(Paritosh Parasher can be contacted at [email protected])