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More heat than light

I remember one of the tenets of Hind Lever, that close association with media persons does not guarantee favourable promotion and that it is best to keep aloof. Several large corporates seem to believe in using their advertising clout for favourable projections. The Nira Radia tapes did reveal the attempt to build bonhomie with journalists from mass media but sadly exposed the unreliability of this approach.

Political leaders at the top rung are wary of mass media. They seem to follow the belief of large multinational like Hindustan Unilever that it is best to keep away from media except to advertise for product promotion. The repeated refrain of Rahul Gandhi on issues like women empowerment in his interview to Arnab Goswami proved disastrous for the Congress party. After her unhappy encounter with Karan Thapar for a BBC interview, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa withdrew even further from media interviews. Narendra Modi had walked out of a Thapar interview when faced with a bouncer of a question.

Thus there was much interest in the interviews that Modi gave to television channels. A seasoned politician he is, Modi handled these relatively less known journalists with ease. There were the familiar questions on an apology for the 2002 riots and the response again has been on familiar lines. Modi handled the questions with consummate ease and was convincing in his response.

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