Mr Narendra Modi,
The Prime Minister of India.
Respected Sir, Now that it is clear that Mr Arnab Goswami of ‘Times Now’ had ‘Conditions Apply’ to his freedom to interview you and also that you’re more keen to talk uninterrupted on ‘Mann Ki Baat’ I mention the President of USA, the oldest democracy in the world and his record of giving one to one interviews.
My data may not be complete as I haven’t approached the White House for the info but have just done a little cursory research on the Internet.
Mr Barrack Obama gave an interview to Steve Kroft of CBS on Oct 11, 2015. Kroft is known to be rude and roasted the President on coals. His interview had one of the viewers fuming, “(Kraft) was so disrespectful to the president I had to turn to another channel. Can’t he ask questions without being rude and arrogant?”
However, Mr Obama patiently answered his questions.
Coming to the frequency of his interviews, after the CBS interview on Oct 11, 2015, he gave an interview each to ABC News (November 12, 2015), NPR (Dec 21,2015), Fox News (10th April 2016), BBC on 24th April 2016, NYTimes on 28th April 2016 and Popular Science in June 2016.
Incidentally, Fox News is even harsher than CBS but the President of the USA didn’t avoid it, either.
And unlike Indian TV channels who really do a PR job, providing you a platform to express yourself without being questioned most of the TV channels in the US seem to be independent.
Mr Modi, you are the Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world.
You’ve the gift of the gab and are a great orator who can hold his audience spellbound for hours and have won several elections campaigning single-handedly.
Can you not give the media a right to question you? Can you not allow the journalists known to be critical of you and the BJP, to interview you? Knowing the kind of journalists we have, I can assure you that even these so-called critics are ready to eat out of your hand.
Can you not give at least one interview every three months and can you not hold at least one televised press conference where the people of India too can ask you some questions?
It will only show to the world that India is a vibrant democracy and an open society.
Thank you, Mr Prime Minister
(A journalist turned novelist)
Courtesy: Mohan Deep’s social networking page.