Modi faces herculean challenge to change mindsets: Ex-foreign secretary

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “transformative figure”, former foreign secretary Krishnan Srinivasan on Tuesday said the BJP leader faced a “herculean” task in changing the mindsets of political parties and bureaucrats.

“To be a transformative figure, he has to change the mindsets and this is a huge and almost herculean task. Whether Modi can rise up to that challenge is a big question,” the retired bureaucrat said at the Observer Research Foundation here.

He was speaking at the launch of C. Raja Mohan’s book ‘Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence’.

Endorsing the author’s views on Modi as a “breath of fresh air”, Srinivasan, however, questioned the prime minister’s ability to transform mindsets in accordance with the aspirations for India’s progress.

“Change the mindsets as in those of political parties and bureaucrats…those who are against economic reforms, those who are against closer ties with the US. Within that framework, some intellectuals and those who have influence should also be included,” Srinivasan pointed out.

“They have to understand that India can’t continue with the old ways because the rest of the world is changing very fast,” he added.

As for the bureaucracy, the former deputy secretary general of the Commonwealth of Nations said Modi might face some roadblocks.

“The existing bureaucracy, frankly, has neither the desire nor the incentive to change. I think Modi will realise he cannot work with this system of governance,” said Srinivasan.

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