I haven’t seen too many gaffes from Narendra Modi while speaking to reporters. But it only proves he is as much a “mango man” like any of us. In his interview to Rajdeep Sardesai (at 15.58) NaMo called Rajdeep: “Sarkardesai” or “Sarkadardesai”. The audio cackles but I’m positive it’s one of those two words. That’s a welcome gaffe though. Rajdeep Sardesai (RS) is often fondly called “Turdesai”, “Slurdesai” or even “Sardardesai”. What is serious, though, is his interview with Modi is disappointing. Why? Because despite what borders on hate-campaign against Modi, be it when Rajdeep was in StarNews, NDTV or now in CNN-IBN, Modi has spoken to him quite often. It’s disappointing, also because RS had a great chance to ask some very valid and probing questions to Modi. He screwed up! Like a third rate reporter RS landed up in Modi’s campaign bus without much homework, without much fact-checking. He could get away with any other politician with this but when you get a rare chance to interview Modi you need to make the most of it. FAIL. (View the full interview and transcripts here).
RS, you see, is too used to mindless and meaningless debates and frequently interviewing guttermouths like Digivijay. In the process he has neither discovered nor practiced the skill of good interviewing. RS has for too long been talking to politicians full of trash and nonsense that makes Rajdeep look intelligent; people who dish out “Zero Loss” or “mother earth”. However, Modi, like a well-informed auditor seems to have facts, data and information on everything in Gujarat, including small districts, at his finger-tips. In contrast Rajdeep brings the same foolish style of interviewing as he would employ with a Diggy, Sibal, RenukaC or Teesta. I stated in an earlier post: “Those who are used to crumbs are not likely to possess the nose of a hound”. You can guess what RS is used to. So come along with me, let’s look at some bits and pieces from this shoddy interview (edited excerpts in blue).
RS: But Modiji, Swami Vivekanand was a saintly person… You are using his name to garner support amongst the people, that's what your opponents say.
NM: As I told you already, we are celebrating this year as the Yuva Varsh. And it was not I who decided that the 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekanand would fall this year. It was decided 150 years ago. So it's not my fault that it fell this year.
Peddling some “personal” rant as a question is the serious problem with our media crooks. This is a nation inspired by saints. So what exactly is Rajdeep’s problem? Morons who cannot raise a single question to the issue of over 450 schemes, projects, roads, monuments, metro stations named and used for electoral gains by the Nehru-Gandhi clan are so worried that Swami Vivekananda’s name is being used for political gains. See homework?
RS: But I am talking about now. Now that the elections are imminent, aren't you focusing more on Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh than on Swami Vivekanand?
Is Sonia Gandhi or MMS Rajdeep’s aunty or father in law that worries him? Umm.. let’s see is there an appropriate time or place to rake up issues on SoniaG or MMS? Will Rajdeep decide when the right is time to raise the questions? Who gave such a right to this divine comic? Incompetence!
RS: The PMO did clarify that only Rs 3 lakh were spent on Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips. You had offered to apologise if the figure you quoted - that of Rs 1880 crore - and the newspaper reports were proven wrong. That’s right, RS and his gang is so used to crumbs thrown to them by PMO or the govt (like zero loss or mother earth) that they don’t bother to check the accuracy of their statements. Would anyone really believe only 3 lakhs were spent on SG travels? Is RS such an irredeemable idiot? Has he ever asked which airline she uses, who provides her aircrafts for travels? In any case this is not interviewing, this is "phishing" for sound-bites and headlines.
RS: Modiji you have said that your election campaign will revolve around Swami Vivekanand and focus on development. So what made you attack Sonia Gandhi, nearly three months after the reports on expenditure incurred on her foreign visits were published? Question is, what stopped the media asking these questions. Why should it even take Modi to ask them? Cowards who prostrate in front of the Gandhi family now also want other parties and politicians to stop asking questions of SoniaG. Isn’t that lovely? The Vivekanand campaign ended on October 11, so should Modi stop his campaign? Does campaign on development mean not asking any question on wasteful expenditure or non-disclosures by the centre? Incompetence!
RS: SoniaG, during her rally in Saurashtra, raised the issue of water supply. She said that the water of Narmada was yet to be made available to that region….
NM: You should be aware of a show that your channel ran two years ago on the amazing methods of water conservation and usage in Gujarat.
RS: Yes, yes… It was on dry land farming.
Again, SoniaG raised the issue… Sonia this, Sonia that! What is this guy? SoniaG’s broker or PR agent? Doesn’t he have any questions of his own? And even when he asks the question he forgets homework on a report his own channel had done. Incompetence!
RS: The Congress government leveled some charges regarding land allotments against you for which you set up the MB Shah Commission.
NM: See, Justice Shah is a respected SC judge. And he found out that one of the land allotments, that the Congress alleged was a Rs 65,000 crore scam, was made in 1983, when the Congress was in power. So the Shah Commission said that if this former Congress chief minister were to know the allegations leveled against him by his own party, he would be really disappointed.
Now, every time Manish Tiwari or Sibal screamed about land scam in Gujarat did RS ever ask them that this particular scam was under a Congress CM? Did he even read the Justice Shah report at all before asking such a stupid question? Stupid, because the Shah Commission has already cleared Modi of any wrong-doing. No homework, Incompetence! Slapped again!
RS: Sir how do you perceive SoniaG's attack on you in 2007 when she called you 'maut ka saudagar' referring to 2002 riots. You are still targeted because of this. How do you perceive such attacks?
NM: I give my best wishes to the RS, that he has been harping on this issue for the past 10 years, that he gets his daily bread by harping on this issue.
RS: No, there is nothing like that…
NM: You have to listen.
This is where Modi told RS:“Sunna padega bhai.. tumhari roji roti mujhe gaali dene se chalti hai" . Translated: You have to listen.. you earn your daily bread by abusing me. Slapped, again!
RS: My final question. I know you don't like it but it is something that your opponents feel and talk about. I know you see me as your opponent. But I am a political analyst. (Haha! He forgot to add Numero Uno). My question is that people feel that Narendra Modi must apologise for the 2002 riots if he has to become the Prime Minister of the country. Your message to them… What would you like to say to those people?
NM: I said that those people who earn their daily bread out of criticising me, and are awarded for the same, they have my best wishes.
RS: I did receive the Padma Shri but that was for journalism. So you are not going to answer that question of mine? Regarding your apology for the 2002 riots.
Haha! I wish that were true. Yeah.. even Barkha Dutt has received a Padma Shri. Oh even Shekhar Gupta (the Army coup guy) has received one. What about that DLF guy? DLF is so much in the news lately. Even the head of DLF Kushalpal Singh received a Padma Bhushan. His terminology for bribing: “facilitate speedy disposal” to Shekhar Gupta is actually worthy of a Nobel Prize. RS received Padma Shri for journalism! Poonam Pandey is more honest about her pursuits. Post the interview RS held a debate, as usual, over his monumental achievement. One of the panellists said Narendra Modi holds many important portfolios and doesn’t delegate. RS should think about that, it actually applies more to him. Any given day, Anubha Bhonsle or Suhasini Haider would have conducted a much better interview. But the media celebs too live under the notion that only they are qualified to conduct such interviews. A miserable RS who can’t speak one coherent sentence without stuttering, stammering and without homework is hardly the right guy to interview a sharp politician.
In the entire interview RS had nothing to really ask, especially nothing that was not already discussed in the media for days and months. Not much about Gujarat, not much about development. Nothing! All he wanted like a broken record was talk about 2002, his personal wet dreams of “apology” and, of course, acting a broker for Sonia Gandhi. In a 23-minute interview (excluding other visuals) Sonia was mentioned 21 times because of RS’s questions. That’s almost once every minute! Was RS from CNN-IBN or Sonia’s stable? Students of journalism should definitely watch this interview video to learn what stupid things they should not do. To do their homework and to ask questions that really matter and not poke around with some personal agenda. In 10 years Rajdeep hasn’t been able to fool Narendra Modi. Worse, he hasn’t been able to fool the public either. I have modest advice for him: Stick to interviewing Digvijay and Teesta, you won’t get slapped and won’t have your moronery exposed.