Modi’s Wembley spectacle impresses UK press amidst ‘pariah’ theme


Narendra Modi’s Wembley pageant was covered prominently by most British newspapers on Saturday but the Prime Minister continued to be viewed as an “ex-pariah” amidst commentary that there was “too much hype and hyperbole” about his visit.

Unlike on Friday, Modi’s peregrinations on the second day of his three-day visit did not make any of the front pages on Saturday, which were dominated by the attacks in Paris that killed at least 120.

The Daily Telegraph – perceived to be pro-Conservative – led the Wembley coverage, devoting two pages and splashing six photographs, including one of Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife Samantha in a designer sari.

The newspaper’s report was headlined “Mass hysteria makes Modi man of the moment”, while the strapline read: “Rock-star reception at Wembley for the Indian prime minister at celebration of cultural cross-over”.

“From pariah to pop star as Modi plays Wembley” was the headline of the report in The Times, but it was juxtaposed with an analysis titled “Foreign Office opens for business with despots”. The analysis included a list of eight controversial foreign leaders visiting Britain, including Modi.

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