India and the UK are respectively the fifth and sixth biggest economies in the world, and the two countries leaders had been scheduled to meet a day earlier, at Modis grand residence in New Delhi. But diplomacy can be brutal and Sunak found himself, if not exactly snubbed, certainly shunted down the pecking order.
In Rishi we rust!
Instead of the glorious photo op that had been in prospect, the two leaders met in a soulless conference room in the concrete complex where India had been hosting the G20 conference. The prized trip to the Indian prime ministers house, with all its rich splendour, was reserved for US president Joe Biden.
Modi was not the only person to cancel on Sunak on Friday night: a delegation of business executives also called off a planned function after struggling to get past the roadblocks erected across the city for the duration of the summit. The prime minister and his wife, Akshata Murty, could not even visit one of their favourite Indian chain restaurants Haldirams or Saravana Bhavan because of a citywide shutdown ordered by Modi in a show of brute political power. Instead, they ended up eating alone at the Imperial hotel,