“As PM Modi finished his speech in Madison Garden, I yet again felt like I was in the presence of a rock-star. Even the toughest Modi critics would agree that he is a phenomenal speaker. From his 15th August speech to his Teacher’s Day question and answer session, the PM lures his audience with humor, honesty and humility. He thumps the table, waves his arms, changes his intonation and (best of all) speaks impromptu. How does he do it?”
This is what was quoted by Times of India in an authored article in September 2014.
Now a shocking Facebook post that has gone viral, suggests otherwise. The following post which has been shared by multiple handles narrates a different story with regards to Prime Minister’s highly acclaimed oratory skills.
As posted on Facebook
“Following is the story who think Modi is a great orator. Fact is that he can’t speak two lines ex-tempore – By Vicknesh
Modi’s inability to answer impromptu questions from his own party members comes as no surprise.
Let me take my own example. We were in Ahmedabad for the finale event of a hackathon. Post lunch, we were told Modi would address the students via video conferencing (thunderous applause and Modigasm everywhere). I thought he would take questions directly from the students. I was wrong.
4 hours before the actual interaction, some officials came and asked for the hackathon to be stopped for some time. They started going team by team asking if anyone had questions. They particularly targeted our team and asked us if anyone knew Hindi so that the benevolent dictator can boast “Wah! finally hindi has reached Chennai I see”. With the only Hindi speaking person in our team being an ‘Agarwal’, the plan was dropped.
3 hours before the interaction, chairs and tables were already rearranged and we were asked to be seated for ‘rehearsal’.
3 girls, 2 boys were selected across all teams and they were brought to the front row. Each one was given a scripted question to ask and were even told how to react after Modi answers their question. They even gave follow up questions and banters to exchange with Modi while the telecast is being broadcasted live.
1 hour before the interaction, the video conference screen went live. Even after being made to sit like ducks for 3 hours with nothing to do, the crowd erupted with the chants of “Modi modi modi”. To everyone’s disappointment, a 40 year old typical Indian uncle appeared on the screen and asked everyone to pretend he was the real Modi so they could do one last rehearsal. We were asked to switch off our mobile phones. I witnessed the most cringeworthy scenes of my life. This dude mimicked Modi’s mannerisms and his slang. He took questions in a pre planned fashion and answered from the exact script which Modi was going to read.
The planning was so detailed that they even pulled up a guy named Vikas from the Coimbatore center so that Modi can joke, “So Vikas has reached down south”.
T-Zero, the emperor has arrived. One more round of Modigasm. This time, they skipped the jokes and questions that did not work. The camera in his PR room zoomed out a little and we could see two teleprompters by his either side. The bhakts in our hall already knew the jokes that Modi was going to tell so they sent the roof flying towards sky. Scenes just like how the Mylapore crowd treats KK na.
The entire PR stunt was a carefully crafted work of art and the next day we could see headlines like “Modi inspires students to take up entrepreneurship”. Anything and everything coming out of his mouth is scripted and he cannot answer any question without being told what to speak. That’s why he does not have the guts to face a single unscripted interview or press meeting as the PM.
Bonus – Watch Modi’s interview with Karan Thapar.”
Was this the reason Modi effectively cut off all communication with the media after coming to power in 2014? He instead chose social media to direct his one way messaging or radio programmes like Mann Ki Baat and fluffy staged interviews with select journalists.
However, in his urge to prove himself as an effective communicator, he ended up delivering one-way series of monologues during his five-year term as a prime minister without a single live press conference.