DKODING | Prime Minister Narendra Modi in conversation with Akshay Kumar
What if we asked you to watch an interview with journalists, expert panelists and famous politicians. Or what if we asked you to listen to an hour long interview with the Prime Minister. Chances are that you might not lend us even half an ear. You might just even pull your hair. Don’t worry. We don’t blame you for this reaction. It is justified.
And here’s why- It is election time and interviews, campaigning, speeches and slogans have taken over all the media and it is coming out of our ears. It has become a noise, a nuisance. The moment we hear the word ’politics’ we all want to switch off or probably even run in the opposite direction.
‘Infotainment’ – When Information is Entertaining
And now what if we told you that you have to watch a conversation between two people- The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and film star Akshay Kumar. And to top it all, the conversation will be ‘non-political’.
Got your attention, haven’t we?
You will stop right in your tracks, give up what you were doing and wait for the interview with much enthusiasm.
The best marketing strategy – Not to go with the strategy
This is the most original strategy we have seen till date. It is an interview set not in a studio but at the home of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The chat is casual. The questions have nothing to do with politics. And that’s such a breather. There are no boring questions and practiced and forced answers.
There are laughs, jokes, anecdotes and tons of flashbacks.
It is said that the first question sets the tone for the rest of the interview.
The first question in an interview has to be the most serious- So let’s start with Mangoes
Akshay thanked Modi for his time and asked that if he likes mangoes. And it was a question that came from Akshay’s driver’s daughter. Akshay had asked the kid what would she like to ask Modi.
Modi said in his interview that he likes mangoes and never worried about washing them and eating them. That’s how it was those days. PM Modi got nostalgic and spoke about how he used to enjoy mangoes as a child. But he was quick to add that now he needs to keep a check on his diet.
Politics- Not about politics
The word politics did surface, but in a different manner.
Akshay asked PM Modi Narendra Modi if he always wanted to join politics.
Narendra replied that he had never thought about joining politics. He came from a non-political background. Instead, he believed he would be a ‘sanyasi’ or would want to join the army. He wanted to be a soldier because he was impressed with the respect the soldiers got from everyone.
He said that even a regular job would have made his mom just as happy. When he was a child he had not received any guidance from anyone.
The Queue of Questions
There was no rapid fire round. Only a series of fun, incident reminding, happiness evoking questions.
PM Modi’s answers were all fitting well under the heading YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS ABOUT ME-
Narendra Modi gets angry sometimes, but he tries to control it. If he is angry he will write down the whole episode which made him angry in the first place. And if that doesn’t calm his mind, he will write and rewrite it 3 to 4 times. He doesn’t let anger control him. Akshay added how he controlled his anger. Akshay punches a bag when he is angry.
Modi said something that’s worth thinking about- he said if you get angry in a meeting, the whole agenda of the meeting goes out of the window because people who are with you will keep thinking about why the person got angry. This is like wasting time. So true Modiji.
We, too believe, that it is Better to explain it why you are angry than to vent it out.
Modiji likes cracking jokes. But he says he cracks jokes only when he is with his friends. He doesn’t want anyone to twist the jokes and make it into news and hurt someone.
Another delightful anecdote- PM Narendra Modi went for Kailash Yatra. There everyone else was applying scented sunscreen on them. Modiji applied castor oil. At the end of the Yatra, others were left with dry, burnt skin while Modiji’s skin was absolutely fine. Modiji takes pride in the fact that he treats his pains himself by tying cloth to the affected area.
WWW for PM Modi
Modiji doesn’t react to the things that are written about him on social media. Modiji is very active on social media and he understands the importance of the platform and that’s how he gets to know what is happening in the world.
He laughed like a child when Akshay showed him some Memes made on the PM.
Modiji likes to have tea twice in a day. His mind gets relaxed when he has tea.
When asked that is he a strict leader, a disciplinarian? Modiji said he is not strict. It is just a perception. He prefers to work with people and not against them.
The emotionally charged question
When asked about his family, PM without even thinking stated that he left his family and home when he was very young. He doesn’t have any attachments. But he does meet his mother and his mother comes and stays with him.
Modiji revealed that some people of the opposing parties are his friends. In fact West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who he fondly calls Didi, sends him Bengali sweets and kurtas every year.
4 is as good as 7
Akshay in his interview emphasized on the fact that a 7 hour sleep is important for the body. The PM said that his body is now used to the 3 to 4 hour sleep pattern. Now he doesn’t need to sleep for more hours. PM said this is one question even the former US President Barack Obama had asked him and he continues to do so each time the two meet.
Points to Ponder
Was it an interview? Was it a friendly chat? Or was it a brilliant marketing strategy? Whatever it was – it did what it had to do – Get everyone’s undivided attention.
Akshay Kumar summed it up rightly:
“While the whole country is talking elections and politics, here’s a breather. Privileged to have done this candid and COMPLETELY NON POLITICAL freewheeling conversation with our PM @narendramodi.”
The chitter on Twitter