What Modi? Where Modi? How much Modi?—Quora just can’t get enough of the Indian prime minister

The man who’s catching everyone’s attention.
The man who’s catching everyone’s attention.
Image: Reuters/Jonathan Brady
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The curiosity surrounding Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Quora, a question-and-answer community site, is palpable.

His clothes, his work, and even his salary—Indians just can’t stop asking questions about the most social media-savvy prime minister the country has known till now.

Here’s a slice from Quora:

Modi the prime minister

One series of queries is around Modi’s achievements and failings as the prime minister.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): Is Narendra Modi doing a good job as a prime minister?

The question has been answered 85 times. While some believe Modi is not living up to expectations, most others say he is being judged too soon. ”In our Punjabi language, there is a famous proverb that is “saheli te haveli ik dinch ni bandi” (a girlfriend and a mansion cannot be built in one day)… Don’t panic dude,” says Quora user Nishant Chawla.

And there are more questions about Modi’s tenure:

Is Narendra Modi really helping India get better?

Is Narendra Modi failing as a Prime Minister?

Would India have been 100 times better than now if Arvind Kejriwal became the prime minister instead of Modi by winning in the Varanasi elections in 2014?

One of the 52 answers that the last question got till Feb. 18 wisely observed: “The question needs a lot of editing… This is a federal system so winning a single seat won’t make you a prime minister.”

What will happen if Narendra Modi faces a media panel comprising most fearless journalists like Karan Thapar, Arnab Goswami, Rajdeep Sardesai & Barkha Dutt together?

The question has been answered 26 times and has received over 300 “upvotes” (equivalent of “likes” on Facebook). “Most likely, Modi will just clear his throat and say mitron and the media panel will jump in, cutting each other with full force to outdo each other,” answered one Amit Kaushik.

Modi the newsmaker

The questions track every headline Modi makes. And the suit he wore with his name pin-striped is a hot favourite.

Narendra Modi wore a suit that has the lining of his own name during Obama’s visit to India on Republic Day. What is the view of a commoner here?

The question elicited over 50 answers. ”To add to his (Modi’s) different attitude and approach, his dressing styles and looks are just an icing on the cake. He has shunned the shabby crumpled kurtas and dhotis/pyjamas and replaced it with his own style. Is that a problem, if that is a style quotient?” replies Nikhil Balan.

But another Quora user, Siddharth Sharma, disagrees. “The honourable prime minister should have been sober and stately in his conduct. Wear a classy suit that is not vain or childish. He is the custodian of our faith and therefore our dignity.”

There are more questions about the famed suit:

Who designed the monogrammed suit worn by prime minister Narendra Modi on US President Barack Obama’s India visit?

Why didn’t Narendra Modi have his name on his suit in Sanskrit?

Modi’s flagship initiatives, too, are frequently discussed.

Will “Make in India” work or will it just be a campaign?

Shantanu Shukla, who describes himself as “jack of politics” and has answered over 10 questions about BJP, cites the recently launched $4 smartphone as “proof that Make In India is not just a campaign but it does work too.”

But Manik Sikka, another Quora user, says, “Campaigns like Make in India and Clean India are just that—campaigns. They are nothing but advertisements. To make things work you need good product, that is you need good infrastructure, steady power, good laws and responsive judiciary etc.”

Modi’s overseas extravaganzas is another favourite.

What do you think about Modi’s Wembley speech?

What do non-Indians think of Modi’s speech at Madison Square Garden? How extensively was it covered by the media of their country?

 Modi the man

It’s not just his politics that Indians are curious about.

What would Modi be doing with his Rs1.6 lakh per month salary?

In Modi’s defence, Nivesh Ram says, “Do you ever reveal your salary to your relatives/friends? Question what he has done for the nation. Question if he pays taxes correctly. But why ask his salary? Does it really make a difference to this nation?”

What is it about Narendra Modi that he catches everyone’s attention?

This last question has just two answers, but one thing common to both is: “Oratorial skills.”

One question on the social media jokes on Modi and his prime ministership, including those mocking his famous photographs, had 71 answers. It has been shared nearly 300 times:

What are some jokes/memes on Narendra Modi?

And then someone has asked …

Does Modi deserve to get Bharat Ratna?

Some questions and answers have been mildly edited for grammar.