Known to be the picture-perfect Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has always come up with impromptu gestures that have often left people surprised. Modi is known for breaking the protocol. Some people say that it ‘sets him apart from the generally staid or laid back Indian politicians’, while on the other hand some people will disagree with it and call it as “hugplomacy”.
PM Modi has also defended himself for breaking the protocol saying, he is a common man and is unaware of protocols. So what is protocol? It is not written in stone and is largely a bureaucratic code of conduct designed for politicians. In short, Protocols are a system of rules that explain the correct conduct/procedures in a formal situation.
Famously or infamously, Modi doesn’t believe in conventions. After Republic Day parade Narendra Modi once again broke protocol to personally receive Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport in New Delhi.
Here’s a recap of 10 times when PM Narendra Modi has broken the protocols in the past:
- PM Narendra Modi broke protocol to receive French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at Delhi airport March 10, 2018.
- PM Narendra Modi also received Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the airport on January 14, 2018.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol while walking down at the Rajpath to greet citizens during the 68th Republic Day celebrations (January 26, 2017).
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi received former US President Barack Obama on January 25, 2015. Modi became the second Indian Prime Minister after Manmohan Singh to extend this special gesture to Obama.
- Modi on June 25, 2018, broke protocol and paid a surprise visit to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi to meet former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was since 11 June admitted at the premier hospital.
(Photo by Prakash SINGH / AFP)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his security protocol on August 17, 2017, by stopping his convoy mid-way to meet a four-year-old girl in Surat during his Gujarat tour. Nancy Gondaliya (4) rushed towards the Prime Minister’s car when thousands of people were waiting on both sides of the road to catch his glimpse on his way to Kiran Hospital from Circuit House. Modi exchanged a few words with the little girl, who was then taken back to her father.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the general security protocol as he walked around greeting the crowd, gathered to witness the celebrations of India’s 69th Republic Day at Rajpath on January 26, 2019.
- Another instance was when Modi breached protocol to revive a troubled relationship. He made an intimate “surprise” trip to Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s ancestral residence in 2015. Incidentally, that day was Sharif’s birthday and his granddaughter’s wedding.
- Modi broke protocol to meet children at Red Fort on August 15, 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke from the security cordon to enter an enclosure where children welcomed him with loud cheers.
- PM Narendra Modi welcomed Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on February 10, 2018.