CNN's June 22, 2023 Biden makes trade-offs and Modi steps out of his comfort zone during elaborate state visit at White House includes the following:
But Modi, for one of the only times since he assumed power, also responded to a question about his crackdowns on dissent and treatment of religious minorities.
“There’s absolutely no space for discrimination,” Modi said through a translator. ‘When you talk of democracy, if there are no human values and there is no humanity, there are no human rights, then it’s not a democracy.”
It was a remarkable moment for a leader who does not hold news conferences, takes no questions from the press and hasn’t sat for an international interview. Press freedom groups say he’s overseen a crackdown on reporting.
The format of the news conference was only agreed upon after lengthy, delicate negotiations between the two sides. Indian officials initially balked at the White House’s insistence at holding one, two US officials familiar with the matter said.
And in the transcript of the CNN June 22 2023 video Taiwan's military is preparing in case China attacks. See how after about 01:56 CNN Whitehouse Correspondent Jeremy Diamond says:
I'm told that these two leaders will indeed hold a joint news conference tomorrow at the White House, but that was no small feat. In fact, it was the result of intense and lengthy negotiations between the U.S. and Indian officials. I'm told that Indian officials initially balked at the idea of having a joint news conference for the two leaders.
The Indian prime minister. Keep in mind, he has never held a news conference where he's taking questions from reporters. So ultimately, the U.S. was initially pushing for a to and to two American reporters, two Indian reporters getting to ask the two leaders questions Instead, it will be a one and one. But U.S. officials here certainly seeing that as a victory to get the Indian prime minister to take questions, a sign of democratic values.
While these CNN reports focus on what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn't do, I'd like to ask about what he does do.
Question: To what extent (if any) does Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi answer reporters' questions, or at least appear to?
If answers can also address the nature of these questions - are they likely friendly or even scripted questions vs challenging questions that would be part of real reporting, and whether these are international or domestic reporters' questions, that would also be helpful.
The purpose there would be to understand the extent to which attempts are made (or not made) to create at least the appearance of answering questions for domestic viewers (i.e. Modi's voting public). For example, typing "Vladimir Putin answers reporters' questions" returns hits from the Kremlin assuring us that he does, and I'm sure these are available in Russian as well.
Putin makes a real effort to at least create the appearance of answering questions (both domestically and internationally). Does Modi?