Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 11am

#CutandPaste: Ms India Koyal Rana praises Mr Modi with quote lifted from Economist

Narendra Modi's landslide victory in the Indian general election means that he wields a not-inconsiderable amount of influence.

From Washington through Tokyo to Delhi innumerable men and women have sought to curry favour with the powerful new leader of one of the world's great economic powers.

Even beauty queens are getting in on the act and one, it seems, is particularly enamoured with Mr Modi's decisive nature.  Well, what girl wouldn't be?

So much so that she was moved to lift (surreptitiously, she hoped) a quote from an Economist article and make it her own!

Femina Miss India 2014 Koyal Rana, a wee lass of 21 with - it's probably safe to say - the political and economic nous of a, well, 21-year-old, was asked by the Times of India for her views on Mr Modi's election victory and she promptly sent through this remarkably lucid observation:  “Mr Modi's victory has disproved an article of political faith from the past three decades: that India's messy democracy, cursed by strong regional and caste-based parties, could produce only fragmented outcomes and weak coalition governments. This victory should mean stable, decisive and predictable rule.”

Whilst Mr Modi would have been impressed, it would have been for Ms Rana's inventiveness rather than her grasp of coalition politics for the quote was lifted word-for-word from an Economist editorial dated 24 May.

Intriguingly, Ms Rana - or her doubtless innumerable assistants - kept out the final sentence from the full paragraph, which alluded to Mr Modi's possible ambitions to hold on to the Prime Minister's office for a decade or more.

Smart of her to only highlight how invaluable Mr Modi's assertiveness will be in a society which seems to thrive on things moving at the same pace as continents.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this story is the fact that the venerable Times of India failed to be even marginally taken aback by such lucidity of thought.  Or the fact that the ToI newsroom doesn't get a copy of the Economist.

After all, this is a paper which lifted a Facebook photograph of this website's showbiz editor Poonam Joshi snapped next to actor Kabir Bedi, taken after an interview, and labelled her one of Mr Bedi's "many women".



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