First of all, I want to make this clear – I’m neither a BJP Follower, nor someone who is totally against it. In fact, I’m not politically inclined at all. Ask me three question about what is happening in Politics – who’s who of cabinet or something else, and the chances are that I’ll be able to answer not even one of them, not even venture a guess.
I’m not proud of it, but this was one of the results of my decision that I took three years back to stop watching or reading news. But even if one shut himself off of all the media, one just can’t escape politics. It is a staple conversation of the office lunches and evening snacks. So even I couldn’t help but not hear on the growing political-heat due to the coming election next year. And as one of its major topics – How is Narendra Modi doing as the PM of India?
Most of the arguments that are hurled around are mere opinions. People only see what they want to see. Demonetization is good or bad depending on which aspect of it you want to focus on. Same is with the development in the country. The same is happening with our views on the PM Narendra Modi. While many are going gaga over his corporate style management, his tireless effort to make India hub of foreign investment, the others are harping on the fact that he has fallen short of the promises he’s made.
Even though I hear both of them, I tend to not form any rigid judgments for any of them. For I know it’s how you flip it is that is important. But when I heard the allegation that “PM hasn’t done any press conferences,” even I couldn’t ignore that. Is it true? I wondered, trying to remember any public conferences I must have seen. To my surprise, I couldn’t remember one!
This got me thinking.
Is a PM not liable to address the nation time and again? Is he not required to come in front of the nation and answer them? People who have elected him, put him on this important job, given our trust and five years of governance – is he not required to come and address us?
These were new thoughts to me. So I didn’t jump on any conclusion at once. So I did some research on the number of press conferences that the heads of the nation in other countries generally do. This is what I found.
Widely popular ex-President of USA, Barack Obama did one hundred and sixty-three press conference in his tenure. That makes it around two appearances per month (1.72). President JF Kennedy also had a similar average per month (1.91). So did the Bill Clinton (2.01). FD Roosevelt and Hoover took it to a whole new level reaching an average of seven and six press conference per month respectively.
But it is the next few averages that really got me interested …
Tainted President Nixon managed a meager one press conference every two months (0.5 / month). And even he couldn’t be a match to the current president of the USA, Donald Trump, who has done only two press conference in his entire term yet!
And now the shocker – How many press conferences Narendra Modi held?
The answer is none. PM Modi hasn’t done a single press conference!!
Something to think about: It’s not as if the current government is free from corruption. PnB scam, killings in UP, and the much ridiculed and questioned Statue of Unity. Is it not the responsibility of PM to come out and answer the public questions?
If you look at the names above – his actions (or non action here) comes into a category of Nixon and Trump – hardly a group any PM would want to be in.
I am not commenting on his governance, or how did our country has performed in his term. But isn’t it something that we all should think about? When we defined democracy as of, for, and by the people – doesn’t it warrant more address by our prime minister to us? Should he not share with us the major developments, concern, and his vision going forward?
I think he should. And if a PM is thinking he can escape that, then there is something wrong, something not right about his views on the accountability which he has as the PM of our country.