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DOES MODI DESERVE A BHARAT RATNA?

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

India-Modi
Reuters/Jonathan Brady
The man who’s catching everyone’s attention.
  • Itika Sharma Punit
By Itika Sharma Punit

Co-editor, Quartz India

This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

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:

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.”

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.

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:

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

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.

 Modi the man

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

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?”

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:

And then someone has asked …

Some questions and answers have been mildly edited for grammar.

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