In 2014, the US had hosted 47 leaders and Japan in 2013 hosted 37 leaders.
Notwithstanding, the successful conclusion of India-Africa summit adding another feather to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic cap, a disquiet was visible within visiting dignitaries on communal incidents in India.Many of them were enquiring from Indian journalists, whether the so-called wave of intolerance sweeping India would have any cascading effect on the political future of Modi. Foreign minister of a Central African nation, who had sought India’s help to fight against terror outfit Boko Haram was particularly seeking answers to the outrage and anger expressed by writers, academics and scholars as highlighted by Indian media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Incidentally, Africa has 53% Muslim population.The success of African summit could be judged that some 40 leaders, including two kings, 26 presidents, six vice-presidents and six prime ministers, arrived in Delhi at the PM’s invitation, almost equaling the record of China in 2006, which had also 40 leaders for its Africa summit.In 2014, the US had hosted 47 leaders and Japan in 2013 hosted 37 leaders.Besides, the current political situation, government’s studied silence on Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or about past two summits in official brochures or engagements also left African leaders wondering. Modi, in his two speeches, referred to Mahatma Gandhi and five African Nobel laureates to point to traditional ties, but did not mention either Nehru, who was the architect of a conference on Afro-Asian unity in Bandung, Indonesia, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).It was left to leaders of African countries, who took stage and heaped praise on Nehru. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe even praised the Congress. South African President Jacob Zuma called Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi “visionary” prime ministers. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama and Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth also mentioned India’s leadership role in NAM, and in organising the Bandung conference.Prime Minister Modi in his concluding remarks attempted to rub the Congress the wrong way. Without naming the former Congress-led UPA government, he said that India had not fulfilled commitments to Africa as quickly as it should have. He was referring to $7.5-billion credit promised across the past two summits in 2008 and 2011. Out of this, only $3.5 billion has been disbursed. “There are times when we have not done as well as you have wanted us to. There have been occasions when we have not been as attentive as we should be. There are commitments we have not fulfilled as quickly as we should have,” Modi said. “But you have always embraced India with warmth, and without judgment. You have taken pride in our achievements. And, you have stood for us in the world. This is the strength of our partnership and our friendship,” Modi added.Modi said the road ahead will be travelled by the “wisdom of our experience and the benefit of your guidance”.While India’s desire to seek a permanent seat at the UN Security Council received an overwhelming support from African leaders, but a single most achievement was an agreement on on combating terrorism. Some North African countries had earlier objected to a term “state sponsored terrorism” and instead they were asking for confining to condemn “the menace of non-state actors and cross border terrorism.”With an eye on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and the country using it as a tool of foreign policy, India was insisting on inclusion of specific phrase of state-sponsored terrorism.But at the end, a mutually-agreed paragraph in the political declaration upheld the sensitivities of both sides. It read as: “Enhance cooperation and coordination between Africa and India to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including countering violent extremism and, in this regard, make concerted efforts for the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”Prime Minister had specifically sought support for the adoption of the convention, asking countries not to get distracted by debating on definition of terrorism. The document further said there was no cause or grievance to justify acts of terror and called upon countries to ensure that their territories are not used for cross-border terrorist activities. “We strongly condemn direct or indirect financial assistance given to terrorist groups or individual members thereof by states or their machinery, to pursue such activities.”