Amid the clamor of unrest sweeping university campuses and the state of Haryana near New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided on a strategy that risks emboldening political opponents: silence is golden.
Advisers describe a leader who is on top of events, but who prefers not to get sucked into rowdy debate on India's public square.
In recent weeks, thousands of students have protested across the country over the arrest of a student leader for alleged sedition, while anger among the powerful Jat community over caste-based job quotas spilled into deadly clashes in Haryana.
"He (Modi) believes that his popularity comes from being seen as a serious politician who gets on with his work," said a leader of Modi's ruling party, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He does not believe in giving a running commentary."