Before the dust settled on the sniggering at the unabashed fan worship of Narendra Modi in what was supposed to be an interview by the supposedly sharp Rajat Sharma, news comes in of senior journalist and editorial director Qamar Waheed Naqvi resigning from IndiaTV in protest of the “fixed” interview.
The interview in question took “staged interview” to a whole new level from Modi’s staged interview with Madhu Kishwar (which later turned out to be old footage from her research for her worshipful epic on Narendra Modi). The audience for Modi’s interview with Rajat Sharma was packed with Modi fans who cheered at every single thing he said, while Rajat Sharma was acting like the sub-heading on an article optimized for Search Engines – highlighting the content rather than questioning anything.
To the best of my knowledge, the much acclaimed interview neither brought up any new information on Modi nor posed any uncomfortable questions.
Qamar Waheed Naqvi’s resignation in protest of the interview has gone unreported by mainstream media (as expected) and fits into a larger pattern of omerta on anything that makes BJP look bad in the run up to the election.
This fits into an election season strangely devoid of many experienced voices being nudged out of public vision. Another example of a missing commentator who won’t bend ethics is P Sainath. He doesn’t appear to have written on the Hindu this year at all, while tweets on Twitter indicate that the last anyone heard from him was when he pointed out in his Keynote Speech at “Zeitgeist” (a media conference by St Xavier’s College) on “Structural compulsions of the media to lie” that the coverage of Aam Aadmi Party changed drastically after they took on Ambani.
While Sainath is known best for his ground breaking work on the Agrarian Crisis, he is among the leading commentators on paid media and elections. His silence in what is turning out to be a Modi season of media is a story of its own.