The ‘non-political’ interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with film star Akshay Kumar aired on Tuesday, 23 April, and true to its description, the interview dealt with the PM’s fondness for memes, mangoes and half-sleeve kurtas; his early life and friendship with Barack Obama and his slight chagrin with Twinkle Khanna’s tweets.
Now, Narendra Modi has been criticised for not holding a single press conference during his tenure. His hesitation to provide interviews has also come under fire before.
So, Twitterati, of course, had a few opinions on a ‘non political interview’ like this at a time when there are burning questions that the PM needs to answer.
“Actors Replace Journalists”
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said that Modi doesn’t have the “courage to give a press conference. But theatrics aplenty for scripted optics with a Bollywood sympathizer.”
The coward has no courage to give a press conference. But theatrics aplenty for scripted optics with a Bollywood sympathizer .— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) April 24, 2019
Activist Kavita Krishnan also said that, “PM can only do staged, scripted ‘interviews’ with his own bhakt ‘interviewers’”. It is a mockery of journalism, she added.
It's actually one actor interviewing another, with the script decided directed & produced by RSS! #AkshayInterviewsModi is a mockery of journalism, and also of the post of Prime Minister, because this PM can only do staged, scripted 'interviews' with his own bhakt 'interviewers'! https://t.co/QybyM08BKd— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) April 24, 2019
Journalist Neha Dixit pointed out that journalists were now being replaced by actors.
Journalists were replaced by actors long ago. Why are we surprised?!#AkshayInterviewsModi— Neha Dixit (@nehadixit123) April 24, 2019
Where is The Confidence?
It didn’t end there. Opinions were aired about how, even after three phases of voting, Modi needed actor Akshay Kumar to promote him. “He seems to have lost confidence in his ‘achievements’ of 5 years”, said Tweeple.
After 3 phases of voting Modi needs actor Akshay Kumar to promote him. He seems to have lost confidence in his ‘achievements’ of 5 years! #ModiwithAkshay— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) April 24, 2019
Journalist Rifat Jawaid said Akshay Kumar had been brought because, “there is no hope for a second term for Modi.”
Akshay Kumar brought in to ‘interview’ Modi is proof Modi has lost the plot after 3 phases of polls. Opposition parties must be alert on EVMs without which there is no hope for a second term for Modi. South ain’t compensating for lost grounds in North and West including Gujarat!— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) April 24, 2019
Another journalist Amey Tirodkar said that this interview was a glaring example of Modi’s ‘courage’ to face ‘tough’ questions.
Congratulations Narendra Modi ji for talking to "Foreign Media Person." This multi camera 'eventful' interview will be one more glaring example of your 'courage' to face 'tough' questions.— amey tirodkar (@ameytirodkar) April 24, 2019
कैसे कर लेते हो इतना सब कुछ सर?
Disrespect for ECI
One Twitter user said that calling it a ‘completely non political’ interview to escape the claws of the MCC only showed disrespect for the ECI and democracy.
On a serious note, a leading star like Akshay Kumar agreeing to be a part of this out-and-out PR exercise, calling it a COMPLETELY NON POLITICAL interview to escape the claws of the MCC, shows utter disrespect these two have for the ECI, this democracy and the rules.— Vivek (@ivivek_nambiar) April 24, 2019
Filmmaker Rakesh Sharma, meanwhile, asked if Election Commission had approved the “promotional interview with candidate Modi, done by a film star to maximise PR/Publicity during polls.”
Dear EC:— Rakesh Sharma (@rakeshfilm) April 24, 2019
This is a promotional interview with candidate Modi, done by a filmstar to maximise PR/Publicity during polls. Direct campaign video splashed across channels.
1. Have you approved it?
2. Are AK fees, Production & 30-min TV slot costs part of personal campaign expenses? https://t.co/tLQzscSjgX
Modi’s remarks on Twinkle Khanna’s tweets and his elaboration on his friendship with Barack Obama were also made fun of by Twitterati.
One Twitter user claimed that Modi’s remark on Twinkle Khanna - “I read your wife's tweets and she takes out all her anger on me so I hope your house is peaceful” - was nothing short of sexist.
I wanted to write a fiery tweet that would perfectly articulate how dismissive and sexist this statement by the PM is but the very thought exhausts me so here, just read it.— Pragya Tiwari (@PragyaTiwari) April 24, 2019
("I read your wife's tweets and she takes out all her anger on me so I hope your house is peaceful") https://t.co/LgCmFRtIx1
And how could Tweeple not poke fun at Modi’s descriptions of bonhomie with former US President Barack Obama? Here are a few choice examples:
Ab Obama thodi aake bolega ki maine aisa kuch nahi bola hai kabhi!— Vivek (@ivivek_nambiar) April 24, 2019
Dear @BarackObama Sir,— Radhika Khera (@Radhika_Khera) April 24, 2019
Can you converse in Fluent Hindi?
Also @narendramodi ji, since when have ‘Tu’ & ‘AAP’ been added to the English Vocabulary?
Wren & Martin must be turning in their graves! https://t.co/K4xpgTsONx
. Read more on Social Dangal by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsA Mockery Of Journalism: Twitter Slams Akshay Kumar-Modi Interview . Read more on Social Dangal by The Quint.