A little over a month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a tame interview to TimesNow, he was back on our TV screens, this time speaking to Rahul Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Reliance-owned Network18 – the same day that the prime minister's face was questionably plastered all over front-page advertisements for the newly launched Reliance Jio. As with the TimesNow interview, there was little in the way of major news emerging from the conversation, but viewers did get another opportunity to hear from the prime minister.

The interview covered many different subjects, allowing Modi to reiterate his newly vocal approach to protecting Dalits while also giving the prime minister a chance to debut his line on the Goods and Services Tax, which was barely touched upon in the Independence Day speech.

Joshi picked up an interesting thread by asserting that, although there is economic growth, the economy is still tepid. He asked Modi what message the prime minister would like to give to private industry and foreign investors at this juncture.

The response was telling. Modi used an anecdote to explain how he was willing to look beyond political gains in order to do what was right for the country. He insisted that he had taken the "tough path" in 2014.

What was so tough? The tempting chance to announce in even greater detail just how terribly the United Progressive Alliance government had run the country. Modi insisted that this was proof that his government doesn't take shortcuts and that he should be trusted to take difficult decisions.

Remember, this was a question about what message Modi would give investors today. His response, in full:

Today I think, before presenting the first Budget, I should have placed a White Paper in Parliament on the economic situation in the country. This thought had struck me then. I had two paths then. Politics told me that I should put out all the details. But the nation's interest told me that this information would increase the sense of hopelessness, markets would be badly hit, it would be big blow to the economy and the world's view of India would get worse. It would have been very difficult to get the economy out of that... I chose to stay silent in the national interest at the risk of political damage. At that time the situation in public sector banks was coming out... I didn't put these details out in public. It hurt us, we were criticised, it was made to look like it was all my fault. But I took the political damage in the country's interest.

The impact of all these issues from the past have impacted private investment, like the non-performing assets in banks. I held a session with bankers and told them there will be no call from the government to you. These steps would have tightened the screws.

Despite that, the pace at which roads are being made, how railways is expanding, the six-fold increase in electronic goods manufacturing… these things show we haven't taken shortcuts. And my motto is, as it says on railway platforms: "Short cut will cut you short." We don't want to take any shortcuts and the results are showing.

Anyway the situation has now improved. We don't have to worry about these things but in the beginning – in May 2014 – I chose the tough path. When unbiased people analyse the situation, I am confident they will be surprised.