Some weeks ago, the ministry of home affairs effectively barred its officials from meeting journalists. The Editors Guild of India asked the government to engage more with the media, but to little avail.

Such is the concern over not being able to control the dominant narrative that the government has even started hiring private PR companies.

But the sight of journalists falling over each other to take selfies with the prime minister, rather than urge him to answer questions, is at odds with the idea that the media is hostile towards him and his government.

Perhaps it is Modi’s incessant desire to control the media that is leading to all the negative publicity. In a press conference in the UK recently, he showed that he is not incapable of tackling hard questions—the British media grilled him on intolerance in India.

By giving more press conferences, Modi and the BJP can actually alleviate the negative publicity. After all, it is hard to imagine that any of these journalists has a personal agenda against the prime minister.

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