It has been just three days into the election year and despite a dip in the mercury levels, the political landscape in the national capital is heating up. It all started with Prime Minister Modi’s interview with news agency ANI. So-called journalists and so-called intellectuals fumed at the interview, calling it softball. Perhaps, ANI Editor Smita Prakash should have asked tough questions like her colleague Rajdeep Sardesai had put forth to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
While most resorted to calling the interview scripted, some, including self-proclaimed feminists and liberals used choicest abuses towards Prakash.
What’s there to disagree? Did she give opinions that I’d agree or disagree? I am judging her for selling her journalistic ethics and standards. I am naming and shaming her. There are many kinds of prostitution, not always about body. A sex worker is far more honorable. https://t.co/wUfiM2ZceG
— Sanjukta (@sanjukta) January 2, 2019
Film actors turned politicians who are struggling to be relevant too tried to take a dig on Prime Minister Modi by firing the gun from Prakash’s shoulders.
Sir if the tweet is for Mr Modi be the hero that you used to be and tag him no? Buzdilon ki tarah ek tuch patrakaar ko kyon tag kar rahein hain? Aap Shotgun hain, Saamba nahiin ?
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) January 3, 2019
As if that was not enough, Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his press conference yesterday after embarrassing himself in the Parliament on the Rafale deal, referred to Prakash as a ‘pliable journalist’ for her interview with PM Modi. Pliable means the one who can be bent easily, someone who’s flexible.
Which is amusing since Smita Prakash’s interview with PM Modi was not easy. She did not shower flowery praises and asked some tough questions. She asked about the recent BJP loss in five states, the upcoming elections and tough question on the demonetisation, poor implementation of GST and apparent lack of legal actions against those whom he accused of indulging in corruption. She even questioned him on how Congress President Rahul Gandhi takes a dig on him with respect to the GST and loan waiver. She even asked questions on the lynchings in name of cows.
Essentially, Prakash was singled out and ‘named and shamed’ not because the interview was bad but because she did not project hate for Prime Minister Modi. Labelling a journalist just because she didn’t toe the line, when you bat for freedom of the press is a little hypocritical, to say the least. And radio silence from the Editors’ Guild on the name calling.
On the other hand, when Rahul Gandhi addresses media, not one ‘journalist’ asked him about the perpetually changing figures in his allegations on Rafale deal. Not a single journalist called out his lies.
Drawing a leaf from his grandmother Indira Gandhi’s ‘Emergency for Dummies’, Rahul Gandhi today tried to intimidate and shut up an independent journalist. With elections round the corner, the game of thrones just got bloodier.