As was to be expected, Mr Modi waded into the "Dehati Aurat" controversy, reported earlier, in his speech at BJP's Delhi rally:
"How dare you (Sharif) address my nation's Prime Minister as a village woman? There cannot be a bigger insult of the Indian Prime Minister. We can fight with him on policies but this we will not tolerate. This nation of 1.2 billion will not tolerate its Prime Minister's insult"
He went on to add:
"The journalists who were sitting in front of Nawaz Sharif when he was insulting our Prime Minister should also answer to the people of my country".
"I want to ask those journalists, I don't know who were they but journalists of my country who were having sweets sitting with Nawaz Sharif when he was abusing our Prime Minister calling him village woman, I expected those Indian journalists, the country expected them, to refuse the sweets and walk out"
Reportedly at Mr Sharif's initiative, Pakistan got into damage control mode:
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Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir is heard in the above TV programme as saying that Mr Nawaz Sharif called Barkha Dutt of NDTV and him for a breakfast meet and among other things, smilingly told Barkha Dutt that it seemed Mr Manmohan Singh had gone not as the Indian Prime Minister but as a "dehati aurat" to complain about him to President Obama
Literally, "dehati aurat" would mean a "village woman".
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Declan Walsh in the Guardian:
Rarely has a Birkin brought so much attention. When Pakistan's new foreign minister, 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar, landed in India for talks this week, a media frenzy erupted around her style: the pearl necklaces, elegant costumes, Cavalli sunglasses and a stylish Hermes-made Birkin bag worth at least $9,000 (£5,500)...
On a flight to Islamabad on Friday, Khar flicked through a stack of newspapers filled with her picture. "You don't want the attention to focus on the frivolous," she said. "A guy in my place would never get such attention; nobody would be talking about his suit. I refuse to be apologetic about it; I will continue to be who I am."
Vir Sanghvi on his blog:
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According to reports emanating from Pakistan, the country’s Foreign Minister is upset that she was treated as a style icon in India. I’m sorry that the lady should feel this way so let me try and make her feel better by telling her what we all know: Relax! Nobody thinks you are a style icon. We just think you sport very expensive accessories. And that’s not the same thing at all.
In other words, we think you are extravagant. But you ain’t no icon...
...the fact that the Pakistani Foreign Minister should think that kitty-party style dressing is appropriate for a bilateral summit meeting tells us something about how far apart our two countries have traveled since 1947. No Indian minister would dress like that. And yet, Pakistanis seem to think it is entirely normal.
So, are we really “just the same people” as the peaceniks claim?
Or does the distance in attitudes grow with each passing year?