The striking thing about Modi’s latest ‘interview’ in Newsweek is the absence of not supplementaries, but questions themselves.

Newsweek’s interviewer Danish Manzoor Bhat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: X/@TellDM

By The Wire Analysis

New Delhi: The ‘interview’ of Narendra Modi in Newsweek was trolled not so much for being a written interview, now a familiar format expected of Modi’s media tete-a-tetes, but because it was completely question-free. Let alone supplementary questions, it does not even carry questions, so technically is not an interview. As Financial Times‘ Ed Luce said, “This isn’t an interview. It’s stenography.”

Sorry, no questions, only sub-heads

On serious questions over shrinking press freedoms (note that India is at 161 on the world press freedom index out of 180 countries), the sub-head is ‘On democracy and a free press’. Other Orwellian sub-heads are what Modi is said to have responded to, not to a question. The question betrays the problem, controversy or crisis around it.

Consider the sub-head regarding India’s gargantuan China border crisis. Since 2020, 21 rounds of talks between corps commanders and 26 rounds of WMCC talks have been held but the situation remains unresolved. More than 50,000 additional Indian soldiers are deployed on the China border in eastern Ladakh, and a report by a senior police officer posted in the union territory claimed that Indian security forces are unable to access 26 of the 65 patrolling points in the western sector of the Union Territory.

The sub-head reads, ‘On competing with China’.

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