Will the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers finally force Modi to be frank with the public about China?

Hours after the Indian Army confirmed that three of its soldiers had been killed by Chinese troops in a confrontation in Ladakh, a number that later rose to 20 with many others injured and at least four critical, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an address to Indian chief ministers that was also televised.

Modi spoke of the coronavirus crisis, the need to remain vigilant and the green shoots in the Indian economy. He did not, however, mention the dead soldiers or the first fatal clashes between India and China in more than 40 years.

By Wednesday morning, the day after the news emerged, there has still been no statement or comment from the prime minister. The first few statements came either from the Army or the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry.

The only senior person who spoke to the public on Tuesday about this was not even in government: Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda.

This silence, despite the death toll, prompted questions from many quarters, including former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.