Following his landslide electoral triumph in May, Narendra Modi's first act as Prime Minister of the largest democracy on earth was to travel to the Kashi Vishwanath temple and offer prayers on the banks of the Ganges...
This week in Birmingham I seemed to spend a lot of time answering the same question from journalists. "Why is everyone here so upbeat?". My answer was always the same "Because we have a plan - a strategy - we can see it's working, and we're sticking to it."
David Cameron and George Osborne have presided over an unprecedented cost of living crisis. Yet listening to the Prime Minister on Wednesday you might be left with the impression that the economy has been fixed and that life is getting easier for most people. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Ed Miliband's policy is ill-conceived, based on the widely held assumption that employers recruit migrants rather than invest in their UK born workers. As with much recent immigration policy, it is based on opinion rather than evidence. More importantly, it fails to recognise a real issue in the under-utilisation of migrants' skills.
A cynical reading of the Chancellor' speech, therefore, would note that having announced that £25billion of spending cuts are needed, he only detailed where £3billion would be found. What about the other £22billion? It's a safe bet that we will not hear much about them before the general election.
Whoever takes over from Boris should take heart from de Blasio's victory and be bold. This is not quick-fix politics: it calls for sustained stewardship of our city and its economy. But a brave mayor could lead that conversation, challenge the orthodoxy and change not just London but the national trajectory too.
Miliband's speech was strong on recognising the problems that society faces: his enthusiasm for meeting "real people" on his walkabouts can leave him in little doubt that the crisis many face is a real one. But a nine pence an hour real increase in low wages over the five year term of a Labour government is no substitute for the far more radical solutions that will be necessary to achieve the social justice for which he clearly yearns.
If Britain's minimum wage is to live up to New Labour's 1997 promise of delivering millions from in work poverty, change is needed. A starting point would be reforming, rather than ignoring the Low Pay Commission. The system is broken, but the fix is at hand.
Picture yourself at the gym with a personal trainer. They've got you working out on the treadmill and they keep upping the pace. You feel physically sick but you can't get off because you fear being humiliated - deemed to have failed by the Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator you hired to shout irreverent slogans at you in the hope they might make your life happier...
Collectively, it seems periods are pretty pricey. With this in mind, would you believe me if I told you that tampons and sanitary towels are deemed not essential enough to be tax free? Admittedly they are taxed at a reduced rate of 5% but this still means they are thought of as luxury items, which all sane females would agree they are certainly not.
We are entering a new era and have a great opportunity to actively shape its course. Even in an age of universal belief in technology, Europe can be confident enough to rely on the power of creativity. Because in the end, the billions of smartphones are just shells that need to be filled with creative content.
Vote 'no' for your future, and the future of your children, your grandchildren. Vote 'no' in solidarity with your friends and family across the UK. Vote 'no' to live in a safe, stable and prosperous nation. Vote 'no' to have the best of both worlds. And vote 'no' to be proud to be Scottish and proud to be British. Make the patriotic decision, and say 'thanks, but no thanks'.
Yogi Berra, the famous baseball coach once said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." Scotland is free to choose its identity; but the rhetoric in support of the Yes vote conflates two very different courses of action, which are at odds with one another.
Attitude is Everything, the charity of which I am CEO, campaigns for improved access to live music for Deaf and disabled people and so we have an interest in both these debates.
The crash of 2008 undoubtedly cast financiers and bankers as the villains of society. Trust and confidence in financial institutions plummeted to an all time low. But amidst the aftermath of the crash, we shouldn't forget that financial markets can be a force for good.
I know that any education about the mysterious world of money would have been gratefully received. For a start, it would have made maths lessons a whole lot more interesting - and a great deal more meaningful. Personal finance and money management is, after all, maths in action.