Modiji turns ModiZee: PM’s ‘rare’ interview causes ripples
New Delhi, Jan 20: In 16 months from now, the tenure of the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime at the Centre will end.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to hold a single press meet in more than three years since he shifted to the national capital from Gujarat to govern the country in 2014. In fact, Modi has created a record of sort by not holding a single presser as the nation's PM.
Modi as the country's PM has also stopped the practice of flying with journalists abroad. In the past, every PM was accompanied by a set of journalists abroad. The media contingent that travelled with the country's heads covered the PMs' foreign trips as well as interacted directly with the PMs.
Thus in a way, Modi almost shut the door on the media. It is not that Modi never interacted with the press. Once in a while, his team would handpick senior journalists from media houses known to be pro-BJP or pro-Modi, if ever the PM felt like taking questions from a journalist.
However, in those interviews, the journalists who spoke to Modi never asked him hard-hitting and difficult questions. The interviewers looked to be in awe of Modi and the PM almost always took control over the interviews like he does in his public rallies or on Twitter.
On Friday, Modi spoke to senior anchor from Zee TV Sudhir Chaudhary. It was definitely a rare occasion for everyone in India as Modi hardly takes questions from journalists.
Unfortunately, the interview lacked gravity and looked more like a PR exercise than a formal question and answer round for the PM.
Since Friday Twitter was abuzz with the interview and the hashtag--#ModiOnZee--was trending.
While the PM fans celebrated the interview, his critics lambasted him for being selective and choosing to speak to only one journalist from a channel known to be close to the ruling dispensation.
The most interesting tweets were those that used a lot of sarcasm to deride the "exclusive" interview.
A Twitter user addressed Modiji (the suffix ji in Hindi is used to address anyone who is senior and demands respect) as ModiZee (to highlight about his much-talked-about interview with the TV channel).
Here we bring you tweets critical about the interview:
Can't decide which TV show is more scripted..— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) January 19, 2018
Big Boss or #ModiOnZee ? 🤔
Here are tweets praising Modi:
Modi is a great leader. Our country is going right direction on the leadership of modi. #ModiOnZee— Bittu Dhali (@bittudhali) January 20, 2018
#ModiOnZee— DEEPRANJAN KUMAR (@deepranjan_k) January 20, 2018