The lure of strongman leaders in Asia

When such leaders seem to thrive in the region, questions arise as to what it takes to keep democracy alive

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, REUTERS

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, who revels in a macho, gun-toting style of leadership, has referred to journalists as "presstitutes".

Oddly enough, and perhaps not so surprisingly, similar invectives have fallen from a former Indian army chief who is in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet.

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