Modi faces tough questions in London

It was the first time ever in his nearly 18-month tenure as prime minister that Narendra Modi faced a fiercely independent press on foreign soil when he addressed a joint press conference with his British counterpart after their talks in London on Thursday. Modi had a taste of how brutally frank and incisive the British media can be.

Sample the first question hurled at Modi by BBC correspondent Justin Rowlatt: “India is becoming an increasingly intolerant place. Why?” Rowlatt did not ask whether India was becoming increasingly intolerant but he made a statement and then put a single-word question: “Why”

PM Modi must have been stunned by the sheer directness of the question. Actually it was more of a stun grenade than a question.

Here are the relevant excerpts of Modi's response in specific context of the question about intolerance. “India is the land of Buddha. India is the land of Gandhi. And so, it is in our culture and blood that we don’t accept anything against the basic values of society…Therefore, if any event takes places, wherever it may occur in India, whether it’s once or twice, in a country of 1.2 billion people, every incident that happens is a serious incident for us, and we do not tolerate such incidents of violence at all. We take strong actions and we will continue to take strong actions and legal actions against such incidents. India is a vibrant democracy which, on the basis of the constitution, protects every citizen, and the values of every citizen in accordance with our constitution, and we’re committed to that.”

It must be noted that he did not give details of “strong actions” taken by his government.

Shortly later, another British journalist Nicholas Watt from Guardian asked a question each from both the prime ministers. Both the questions were actually a frontal assault on Modi. To Cameron he asked: “How comfortable do you feel welcoming Prime Minister Modi to this country given that for the first two years of your premiership he was not permitted to visit this country because of his record as chief minister of Gujarat?”

Watt’s question to Modi was even sharper as he asked: “Prime Minister Modi, can I ask you: Tomorrow night you will obviously have a rapturous reception at Wembley Stadium. But there are a number of protesters out today who are saying—and I am wondering what you say to them—that given your record as chief minister of the state of Gujarat, you do not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world’s largest democracy.”

Modi began answering the question that he wished to give an information to keep the record straight and then said thus: “I came in 2003 and had been warmly welcomed at that time as well. The UK has never stopped me from coming here. They have never banned me from coming here. Perhaps I could not come because of my own time constraints, so please do correct this wrong perception you may have.”

Again, here too Modi chose not to answer the more damning part of Watt’s question about the protests outside the British prime minister's office and what he had to say to them.

This was easily PM Modi's toughest press conference abroad and that too on Day One of his UK visit. This could have happened to him only on foreign soil because he has never held a formal no-holds-barred press conference, either as prime minister or during his almost 13 years’ stint as chief minister of Gujarat.

Modi has been to other Western nations like the US, France and Germany but the media there is not much bothered about India. The case of the US is even more interesting as there are more than 2.8 million Indians living in the US, constituting 0.9 percent of the total American population. But UK is much different because of historical links.

It will be interesting to see how Modi fares during the rest of his UK trip if he were to run into British media again. more  

View all 29 comments Below 29 comments
Good job done by our PM and British PM and the Queen did everything to show that our PM and our country must be respected and recognised by the world; as mentioned by Ghanshyam Sureka. Jai Hind more  
Dear friend please wakeup... don't be part of antiindia activity which US/Saudi/Pakistan doing to stop India from getting UN permanent seat...don't be a silly Indian who see every thing with opposition mirror Interview was a planned move by Modi govt and slap on the face of congress ,on tamasha done by them by taking help of few coward who insulted the national award given to them forgetting the award does not belong to congress of bjp its nations award given behalf of crores of Indians....... he wanted to send the message across the globe using bigger media channels ,who has greater presence in western world... do you think he was not aware of the question that was going to come...his answer given to media clearly shows the picture.. Indians had been always Tolerant , even when alexander attacked we were tolerant and supported Alexander to defeat porus when Muslims invaders done mass murders across the country and destroyed our temple and culture we were tolerant.. when Portuguese converted and killed lakhs of hindus we were tolerant. When British looted and killed our leaders we were tolerant many of the same tolerant breed busy in bump liking the British. in last 60 years we were not able to cope with poverty we are tolerant. when farmers do suicide we are tolerant... When out jawans head get cut we are tolerant. .. When terrorist do bomb blast and do 26/11 strikes we are tolerant. Multiple riots across , hindus thrown out of kashmir padits brutually killed, 3000 Sikhs killed in riots, Muslims killed in muzafarabad, godhra, biwandi, mumbai we were tolerant. when Hindus massacred in assam we are tolerant So where is the question of intolerant arise for we Indians...... After seeing the warm welcome Modi is getting across the globe we should be proud as a Indian...he is playing the role of global leader.... more  
I think Mr Mehra your intention of putting this post is more sharp then the British media. Mr Modi I think gave the best answer to the media questions in London how ever the tour is concluded since now and you also must be aware how he fared there.He was the first Prime Minister of India who was given guard of honor, a personal lunch hoisted in the honor of Modi that too pure veterinarian by the queen who also welcomed him personally. Mrs Cameron specially weared sari when she came to receive Mr. Modi. I think this never happened before. I heard the speech of Cameron who also spoke in hindi while the video of Mr. ayar's speech was on that a chaywala can never become the prime minister and he said that Modi proved him wrong and Achhe din jaroor ayenge. So you have the answer. more  
THANKS Urmi Raina JI more  
Post a Comment

Related Posts

    • Stadium Naming

      Terrible idea to name Motera Stadium after PM Modi. Congress set an awful practice of naming stadiuma, universities, airports, roads & even planetariums after Indira, Rajiv, Sanjay & Nehru....

      By Ruchika L Maheshwari

      The anti Modi campaign is now becoming vicious and full of feelings of hate against him. With hate campaigners becoming determined and getting media publicity, there is anxiety now developin...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      The so called farmers, by indulging in unprecedented violent acts in Delhi ,have made India’s enemies happy. As usual, those who instigated the innocent farmers and made them agit...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      The agitation by section of farmers and their associates in Punjab against the recently enacted farm laws in Parliament by Government of India have been now going on for over 45 days, with no s...

      By N.S. Venkataraman
    • Why India need Mr. Modi

      Having been elected with clear majority two times, Prime Minister Modi clearly sees himself as a man of destiny. Obviously, he has firm convictions with regard to economic and social policy and...

      By N.S. Venkataraman
    • Is the protest against Farm Bill appropriate ?

      The demand over the several decades by various political parties and agricultural economists have been that the exploitation by the middle men (trading houses) should be put down by enacting stro...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      It is high time that the journalists and activists should take a good look at their own image in the society and search their conscience whether they have always been neutral and unprejudiced.

      By N.S. Venkataraman
    • Government should be committed to population control

      Today, what stands between India and high prosperity index is the huge population, which still continues to increase at alarming level. To control the population growth, Prime Minister M...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      When the world was attacked by COVID 19 and with no proven drug/vaccine available xfor treating the infected people, social distancing between individuals was advocated as immediate solution to sol...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      Now, it appears that both the governments and the public are tired of lockdown. It appears that people have reconciled themselves to live with COVID 19, just as they have been living wi...

      By N.S. Venkataraman

      It is highly depressing to read news about the local people’s objection to bury / cremate the corona infected deceased persons in their locality. This is happening all over India and par...

      By N.S. Venkataraman
Enter your email and mobile number and we will send you the instructions

Note - The email can sometime gets delivered to the spam folder, so the instruction will be send to your mobile as well

All My Circles
Invite to
(Maximum 500 email ids allowed.)