• Monday, June 24, 2024

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Modi reveals why he doesn’t do press conferences

Claiming that he is never against giving interviews, the Indian PM emphasized on the changing role of media and the opening up of new avenues of communication.

Indian PM Narendra Modi gives an interview (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi feels the media today is not what it used to be and revealed the reason for him not holding press conferences, something that his critics have often accused him of.

Claiming that he has always been open to giving interviews, the PM spoke in an exclusive interview with India Today on the evolving role of the media and highlighted the various channels that are now available for communicating with the public. He also said the media today is not what it used to be.

When the news outlet asked him why he doesn’t hold press conferences and gives less number of interviews compared to when he was the chief minister of his state Gujarat, the PM said the media has been used in a certain way and did not want to traverse that path.

In May 2019, Modi had attended in first press conference, five years after taking office, but did not field a single question. He passed on a question addressed to him to Amit Shah, the current home minister who was then the president of his Bharatiya Janata Party, calling himself a “disciplined soldier” of the party who did not speak in front of the chief.

Read: Modi appreciates his AI dance video even as ‘technology abuse’ mars India polls

The opposition have frequently criticised Modi of not facing the press and even stopping the practice of taking journalists on board his aircraft on foreign tours.

“I have to work hard. I want to go to poor people’s homes. I can also cut ribbons and get my photo taken in Vigyan Bhawan. I don’t do that. I go to a small district of Jharkhand and work towards a small scheme,” Modi, who completes a decade in office this month, was quoted as saying in the interview.

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Emphasizing that he introduced a new work culture, Modi said the media should present it correctly if that culture feels right and should not if it does not.

He also said that the media have ceased to exist as a separate entity today.

“Earlier, I used to talk to Aaj Tak (an Indian news channel), but now the viewers know who I am talking to (referring to anchors). The media is no longer a separate entity today. Like many others, you (the anchors) have also made your views known to people,” the PM said.

The leader, who is seeking his third straight term this year, said the media used to be the only source of communication earlier and that new mediums are available now.

Modi makes use of X (formerly Twitter) for minute-to-minute communication with the people and is one of the most followed leaders in the world today. He has nearly 100 million followers on the social media platform.

“Today, if you want to talk to the public, communication is two-way. Today, the public can also make their voice known without the media. Even a person who has to answer can express his views well without the media,” Modi told the interviewers.

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