Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chief talent is self-aggrandizement. Visiting leaders don't hold victory rallies in a foreign country—but that's exactly what he did in New York's Madison Square Garden on Sunday. He appeared in a tasteless Bollywood-style extravaganza before an adoring Indian American crowd and speechified for an hour as an artist drew a portrait of him live on stage.
All of this was meant to thumb his nose at the American establishment that barred him from entering the country after his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, his home state, notes Shikha Dalmia.
Modi seems to have the autocrat's instinct to be the star attraction. That does not bode well for the massive economic decentralization—the hands-off approach—that he himself touted as essential for offering a decent standard of living to Indians.