New Delhi [India]: German envoy to India, Walter J Lindner, on Wednesday (June 1), heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership skills.
He said, “Former German chancellor Angela Merkel always admired talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She always asked him how did he run such a big country.”
Lindner made the statement in a press conference at the German Embassy as he is soon to retire as the Ambassador of Germany. “I’m leaving in four weeks from this country. I have to retire,” he said.
“Soon my job as GER Amb to India & Buthan comes to an end. But in fact, since I came to IND 1976, the country has been in my veins, never left me, so this time leaving the H.E. behind is just beginning of another chapter of my exploration of IND magic & mystic. A lifelong journey,” tweeted Walter J Lindner.
He also praised India for its rich diversity, uniqueness and its ability to bind all these into a single entity – “Unity in Diversity.” He said, “India taught me that you have to live fully.”
Talking about learning Hindi, he said, “I think it’s important to show that you are interested in their culture. This could be by wearing a Kurta, by eating their foods, but also by speaking their language. If you travel through different parts of India, Hindi is not enough. There are places where all speak English and other languages. I wish I could speak ten of these important languages.”
Sharing his visits to different places in India, he said that he admired the smiles of the Indians when he connected with them in their native tongue.
“Talking to persons in their native languages like in Chandni Chowk, Kolkata or Alang in Gujarat opened their smile. That smile let you worth living. It shows humanity and humbleness. As a diplomat, we are lucky to experience it while travelling to other countries,” said Lindner.
“Never-ending source of inspiration: incredible people of IND! As diverse as planet, touching, unique, colourful & full of life. Faces do tell, carrying all burdens of daily life, sharing moments of joy, always authentic, always 100% IND!” tweeted the German envoy.
Talking about diplomacy, he said, “My perception of diplomacy is different, it’s away from protocols. I’m in a country to know that country, for it I need to talk to rickshawala, kulfiwala. This gives me a broader perspective of a country. We as diplomats also have to change.”
The German also said that old fashioned diplomacy is necessary “to be out there, to talk to the people and to see what’s happening in the country.”
On the Russia-Ukraine war, Lindner said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war showed that “we need friends. It is necessary to show Putin that it needs to stop. I think everywhere, people are more sensitive, and they have seen Russian behaviour. It is a very crucial point that Putin is not winning.”
Talking about sanctions, Lindner said, “We didn’t opt for sanctions, sanctions are there to prevent Putin. We all have inflation and we need to rearrange our spending, everyone is losing with sanctions.”
He also said that the present geopolitical situation had pushed the EU- India agreement towards FTA and alignment with international bodies.
He also talked about the reforms in the United Nations. “I am a big fan of the United Nations. They have all the shortcomings, but we should reform urgently.” (ANI)