Business Standard

Narendra Modi: Silent PM 2.0?

If under Manmohan Singh, there was an information deficit, under Modi there is a dialogue deficit.We now have a PM who speaks often, but only from behind the social media smokescreen.

Related News

Aruna Roy, Romila Thapar, Mrinal Pande, Jean Dreze, Anand Patwardhan and Mallika Sarabhai are among the prominent set of civil society activists who are signatories to a joint statement in which they have lashed out against Prime Minister for his silence on the brutal attack on Mohsin Shaikh, the techie who was killed allegedly by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena.

Press reports suggest that the statement also expresses concern on the resurgence of assaults particularly on writers, academicians and thinkers and seeks the deletion of "regressive legislations" such as section 66(A) of the IT Act which is being flagrantly misused to quell political dissent.
 
There are several of a lesser distinction who've been equally perplexed by Narendra Modi's decision not to voice his unequivocal condemnation of  Shaikh's murder. He has, as it has turned out,had nothing to do with the circulation of morphed online photographs of that triggered the violence in Pune where fear seems to have gripped certain Muslim dominated boroughs. So much so that people have been driven to shave off beards and avoid skull caps in order to keep away from being targeted according to a Times of India report. Minor riots in the city, where Madrassas were being vandalized with orange flags hoisted over them were on for about a week before this incident took place, writes Rana Ayyub in the DNA.
 
What, if not such communal mischief must get the Prime Minister of India to wake up and assuage the disquiet that could be simmering among India's Muslims? Isn't Modi worried that his silence could be misconstrued, especially by those already suspicious of him, as an endorsement of such fringe activity? Shouldn't workers of the and who were also allegedly part of the violent protests that saw 130 buses and 20 vehicles damaged and a dozen injured in stone pelting know that their PM disapproves of such vandalism? What's really stopping him from issuing a simple message of commiseration for the victims when according to a report in this newspaper the PM sends out 10 to 15 communiqués per day through  a combination of tweets, posts, press releases and announcements on a wide ranging set of subjects? Surely it's not that that his media team is pressed for time.
 
Regrettably silence is what Narendra Modi has often chosen on ticklish issues. He may've been an efficient communicator on social media, but has effectively shielded himself from any meaningful media questions. If under Manmohan Singh, there was an information deficit, under Modi there seems to be a dialogue deficit. We now have a Prime Minister who speaks far too often, but only after he hides behind the social media smokescreen. He does not believe in directly answering questions we may want to ask him. And it seems to be that we may soon have an entire government that is loathe to interaction with members of the press. Modi has reportedly asked his cabinet ministers to refrain from speaking to journalists letting only official spokespersons do the job according to Scroll.in.
 
If such caginess in the Prime Minister is unfortunate, what is  even sadder is the fact that eminent members of the press and society - those that rallied behind Modi during the elections, seem to approve of this style. Journalist in her Sunday column for the Indian Express mockingly dismisses those that have sought a comment from the PM on the Pune violence.
 
''Tch, tch, tch, they said often last week, he should have spoken up when the young Muslim computer engineer was killed in that random attack by Hindu thugs in Pune'' Singh writes, speculating why Modi may not have demanded an explanation from Maharashtra's Congress Chief Minister. He wouldn't want to antagonize states with whom he needs to work  to bring about the change and development he has promised she reckons.
 
The responses she received to her column were even more worrying.
 
Sample this - 
 
"@dhume @tavleen_singh The public apparently thinks PM should be approached for everything including the clogged drain outside! :-) or :(", tweeted - Former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India.
 
Is expecting the PM to speak out against the murder of an innocent professional the same as demanding his attention to clogged drains? This is the mother of all inappropriate statements, save Modi's own puppy remark. And weren't these the same set of people who clobbered Manmohan Singh for his silence on issues in general?
 
If for nothing else,  then it is for the attention his silence is diverting from some of the brilliant initiatives the PM has set in motion in such a short span, that he must speak out. And even more so, because the admirers who've jumped to his defense are hampering rather than helping his case with their tactless remarks.

Read more on:   
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|

Narendra Modi: Silent PM 2.0?

If under Manmohan Singh, there was an information deficit, under Modi there is a dialogue deficit.We now have a PM who speaks often, but only from behind the social media smokescreen.

Aruna Roy, Romila Thapar, Mrinal Pande, Jean Dreze, Anand Patwardhan and Mallika Sarabhai are among the prominent set of civil society activists who are signatories to a joint statement in which they have lashed out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the brutal attack on Mohsin Shaikh, the Pune techie who was killed allegedly by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena. Press reports suggest that the statement also expresses concern on the resurgence of assaults particularly on writers, academicians and thinkers and seeks the deletion of "regressive legislations" such as section 66(A) of the IT Act which is being flagrantly misused to quell political dissent.
Aruna Roy, Romila Thapar, Mrinal Pande, Jean Dreze, Anand Patwardhan and Mallika Sarabhai are among the prominent set of civil society activists who are signatories to a joint statement in which they have lashed out against Prime Minister for his silence on the brutal attack on Mohsin Shaikh, the techie who was killed allegedly by members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena.

Press reports suggest that the statement also expresses concern on the resurgence of assaults particularly on writers, academicians and thinkers and seeks the deletion of "regressive legislations" such as section 66(A) of the IT Act which is being flagrantly misused to quell political dissent.
 
There are several of a lesser distinction who've been equally perplexed by Narendra Modi's decision not to voice his unequivocal condemnation of  Shaikh's murder. He has, as it has turned out,had nothing to do with the circulation of morphed online photographs of that triggered the violence in Pune where fear seems to have gripped certain Muslim dominated boroughs. So much so that people have been driven to shave off beards and avoid skull caps in order to keep away from being targeted according to a Times of India report. Minor riots in the city, where Madrassas were being vandalized with orange flags hoisted over them were on for about a week before this incident took place, writes Rana Ayyub in the DNA.
 
What, if not such communal mischief must get the Prime Minister of India to wake up and assuage the disquiet that could be simmering among India's Muslims? Isn't Modi worried that his silence could be misconstrued, especially by those already suspicious of him, as an endorsement of such fringe activity? Shouldn't workers of the and who were also allegedly part of the violent protests that saw 130 buses and 20 vehicles damaged and a dozen injured in stone pelting know that their PM disapproves of such vandalism? What's really stopping him from issuing a simple message of commiseration for the victims when according to a report in this newspaper the PM sends out 10 to 15 communiqués per day through  a combination of tweets, posts, press releases and announcements on a wide ranging set of subjects? Surely it's not that that his media team is pressed for time.
 
Regrettably silence is what Narendra Modi has often chosen on ticklish issues. He may've been an efficient communicator on social media, but has effectively shielded himself from any meaningful media questions. If under Manmohan Singh, there was an information deficit, under Modi there seems to be a dialogue deficit. We now have a Prime Minister who speaks far too often, but only after he hides behind the social media smokescreen. He does not believe in directly answering questions we may want to ask him. And it seems to be that we may soon have an entire government that is loathe to interaction with members of the press. Modi has reportedly asked his cabinet ministers to refrain from speaking to journalists letting only official spokespersons do the job according to Scroll.in.
 
If such caginess in the Prime Minister is unfortunate, what is  even sadder is the fact that eminent members of the press and society - those that rallied behind Modi during the elections, seem to approve of this style. Journalist in her Sunday column for the Indian Express mockingly dismisses those that have sought a comment from the PM on the Pune violence.
 
''Tch, tch, tch, they said often last week, he should have spoken up when the young Muslim computer engineer was killed in that random attack by Hindu thugs in Pune'' Singh writes, speculating why Modi may not have demanded an explanation from Maharashtra's Congress Chief Minister. He wouldn't want to antagonize states with whom he needs to work  to bring about the change and development he has promised she reckons.
 
The responses she received to her column were even more worrying.
 
Sample this - 
 
"@dhume @tavleen_singh The public apparently thinks PM should be approached for everything including the clogged drain outside! :-) or :(", tweeted - Former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India.
 
Is expecting the PM to speak out against the murder of an innocent professional the same as demanding his attention to clogged drains? This is the mother of all inappropriate statements, save Modi's own puppy remark. And weren't these the same set of people who clobbered Manmohan Singh for his silence on issues in general?
 
If for nothing else,  then it is for the attention his silence is diverting from some of the brilliant initiatives the PM has set in motion in such a short span, that he must speak out. And even more so, because the admirers who've jumped to his defense are hampering rather than helping his case with their tactless remarks.
image

Read More

Congress reaches out to regional parties

Non-Congress Opposition parties are actively working on forming a bloc to leverage their combined strength

Recommended for you

Columnists Rss icon

T N Ninan

T N Ninan: A financial slave state
T N Ninan

Perhaps Angela Merkel knows the Greeks better than their prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. Since the Greek ...

T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan

T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan: Lessons from the first year
T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan

Mr Modi seems to have confused the centralisation of power with centralisation of administration

Editorial Comment Rss icon

Vyapam scandal is just a symptom of all that ails the job market

Madhya Pradesh scandal should be treated as a wake-up call underlining the urgent need for job creation

People prefer to go for private education, healthcare

In education this is happening across rural and urban sectors, though the trend is more pronounced in urban areas

TWEETS @ POLITICS
@SinghRPN
Well done “@IndiaToday: MUST READ | #UPSC results declared, women bag top four ranks http://t.co/nTSeKWnLfN http://t.co/hgXzQ7IwmA
@milinddeora
RT @OfficeOfRG: The spirit of innovation demonstrated by this generation of entrepreneurs is truly exciting &must be applauded:Rahul Gandhi…
@digvijaya_28
I met Akshay one day before he left for MP. Warned him to be careful. I am shocked ! Pay homage to him and convey condolences to his family.
@thekiranbedi
( Human Dividend? ) @navodayatimes: बेटे की चाह में पैदा की 14 लड़कियां, एक बार फिर गर्भवती ! http://t.co/C6Us1G0k8C http://t.co/CU7B57rzua
@ajaymaken
RT @ANI_news: This is a bogus Govt, with bogus degrees and bogus budget: Ajay Maken on AAP MLA Bhavna Gaur degree row http://t.co/muIWKd2LSC
@MPNaveenJindal
RT @FIH_Hockey: #HWL2015 Antwerp | @TheHockeyIndia win to take 5th place and keep the #RoadToRio dream alive! http://t.co/kQIoaOENL8
@Panda_Jay
My Twitter handle changed yesterday to @PandaJay 😊, please follow that..
@ShashiTharoor
Delighted that top 4 rankers in this year's UPSC exams are women &#2 lives in Thiruvananthapuram! Hope to congratulate her in person today
@Swamy39
RT @jagdishshetty: Dr @Swamy39 speaking at the National Convention of CA Students at Aurangabad http://t.co/lpxsVJMXEx
@narendramodi
To those who didn't clear the exam- such moments are a part of life. This must not deter you from your future endeavours. My best wishes.
@abdullah_omar
@Raheelk all over and done. #Nadal is leaving #SW19 for this year, with that fancy US$775,000 watch that he was wearing.
@varungandhi80
My article in The Asian Age/Deccan Chronicle today: http://t.co/fYQlpuiMBO
@ArvindKejriwal
RT @DrKumarVishwas: आज से करीब डेढ़ महीने पहले इसी अख़बार ने ख़बर छापी थी, कि कुमार विश्वास 'अवैध संबंधों' के घेरे में फंसे। आज उसी... http…
@PMOIndia
RT @narendramodi: To all the people of USA, a very Happy 4th of July. http://t.co/CkrVW9bq92
@rajeev_mp
RT @Raheelk: People are shocked that Intelligence Agencies Intelligence. What's next? Shock abt the Sun rising in the East?
@quizderek
Losing Aunty Maya... To #Alzheimer's. My new #Facebook post | http://t.co/IqeCTyp6Ek
@
NSSO data suggests wide gap between students pursuing general and technical education http://t.co/p2y00OwnzC
@SushmaSwaraj
@rishabh18s How do we contact her ?
@arunjaitley
Watch me live addressing press conference at 11 am today - http://t.co/t8zOeAMIph
@MVENKAIAHNAIDU
Thank you TANA for conferring Life Time Achievement Award... http://t.co/DRLuoY1p37
@nitin_gadkari
Laid the foundation stone of two lane with paved shoulders of Agartala-Udaipur section of NH 44 at Agartala, Tripura http://t.co/coT1JtvTBk
@DVSBJP
@du5hyanth thanks pl RT for cause
@umasribharti
चन्‍द्रशेखर राव को बधाई. तेलंगाना राज्‍य का मेरा संकल्‍प एवं सपना पूरा, तेलंगाना की नदियों का ध्‍यान रखेंगें.
@AnanthKumar_BJP
Valedictory function for Peenya Industries Association Expo on 27-June-2015 https://t.co/o0ffWlcVt1
@smritiirani
RT @narendramodi: I bow to Swami Vivekananda on his Nirvan Diwas. He is an enduring source of inspiration whose thoughts influenced several…
@drharshvardhan
Grieved with news of death of child in Hema Maliniji's car accident.Praying to Almighty for recovery of Hemaji and others injured.
@Gen_VKSingh
@USAmbIndia thank you Mr. Verma. It was indeed a pleasure being part of the celebrations. Wish you all a very Happy Independence Day.
@Rao_InderjitS
My best wishes to all the #doctors on the occasion of #DoctorsDay ! We appreciate & value the contribution of Doctors to the nation!
@nsitharaman
“@airnewsalerts: UPSC declares results of Civil Services Examination; Women bag first three positions.” Great news -"Beti Bachao Beti Padao"
@RSSorg
" Super 30" students of Anand Kumar scored 25/30 in IIT entrance.. Congrts Anandji for ur cmmtmnt n dedication in bldng the nation.

Back to Top