Media's worry is not Modi's silence but its own failure to hound him as the PM
The media's worry is not without a basis but the
reason of its worry is not what it is actually projecting on
television debates. The media is actually worried over the outcome
of its invisible battle with the prime minister and is feeling
extremely frustrated for not being able to toy with the
government's reputation in public, just as it had done with the
previous regime of Manmohan Singh.
Modi hasn't forgiven neither forgotten the media's treatment between February 2002 & May 2014
One might infer that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not forgotten and forgiven the mainstream media of the country for the relentless hounding he faced between 2002 and 2014. There was a short period of bonhomie between him and the 'secular' media towards the later part of the general election held this year and till his taking oath as the prime minister on May 26 but ever since then, the media has seen little entertainment from Modi's government.
Modi has banked on social media to make it up
The BJP leader, in a very calculated manner, banked on the social media to back his poll campaign in the summer of 2014 for the mainstream media has not been kind to him for most part of the history. It was when Modi drew closer to the Delhi throne that the mainstream media felt compelled to follow the trend.
The media thinks Modi is obliged to follow its agenda which the latter refuses
But Modi knew it was just the mood of the moment which made the
big media honest towards him. He laid down an unwritten but firm
policy for the media and the latter has not been able to violate
that so far. The result: Questions are being raised about why the
prime minister is silent on key issues.
Why should the PM drum on key issues in the public?
This viewpoint of the media is not only prejudiced but also without any basis. Should the highest executive of the nation drum his government's policies and programmes? Doesn't the Indian media understand the difference between dealing with say a film celebrity and the prime minister? Thanks to some hyperactive television journalists, the Indian media has grown a superiority complex and thinks it can set the agenda for the 21st century society but feels frustrated when it sees the prime minister not abiding by the 'rule' of the game.
Media trying to get into Modi's territory but hasn't succeeded
The recent controversies over Prakash Vaidik and Hafeez Saeed, RSS MP forcing a roti into the mouth of a fasting Muslim or MPs going on extravagant tours are examples of the media's growing impatience with the Modi government. A mission to expose Modi government in some form is continuing but the media hasn't managed to find a reason to declare a full-blown war against the government of the day to undo the image of the man whom it has chased ruthlessly over the last one decade.
Modi knows messages matter more than the means
Narendra Modi is a well-informed politician and loves to be in control of things. He is aware that the Indian media essentially loves to trigger controversies, sometimes irresponsibly, and even a slight occasion will give it the opportunity of the lifetime to resume the business of hounding. But Modi is not essentially defensive.
He has been making full use of the new media to reach out to the people irrespective of what the mainstream media is saying. Modi knows that if his messages are clear and genuine, there is no way the criticising media can create an obstacle on the way of his government for the latter itself still lacks enough credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the people.