Received an email today (Thanks, Sharath!) with the transcript of the Karan Thapar (KT) interview with J Jayalalitha (JJ), the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at HardTalk India on BBC World… Makes more than an interesting read.
What was Karan Thapar trying to do? Was he being the good journalist? Or was he out with some hitherto unknown vengeance? Remember, this was the same Karan Thapar who interviewed the then defence minister George Fernandes on National Television!
Here are some juicy extracts to induce you to read the Full Transcript.
JJ: When I became Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi was arrested in a corruption case. At that time his family channel Sun TV played a big hoax with a very cleverly edited footage…
KT: (Intervenes) Can I interrupt because I think the important thing Chief Minister…
JJ: (Intervenes) And at that time the entire media was…
KT: (Intervenes) You are reading a statement…
JJ: (Intervenes) I’m not reading. I’m looking at you and talking. You can check it in the camera.
KT: But I want to say…
JJ: I’m looking at you and speaking. I’m not reading.
KT: I’m want to put out a concern to you. People say…
JJ: (Intervenes) You have notes before you. Shall I say you are reading.
KT: I have questions in front of me.
JJ: Alright I have notes in front of me. Nothing forbids me from having notes.
KT: Chief Minister…
JJ: I’m not reading. I’m looking at you straight in the eye. I look everyone straight in the eye.
KT: You arrested a man who was 77.
JJ: Age has nothing to do with corruption.
KT: Okay can I put one quote to you? The press say that she turned against Sonia Gandhi in 2003 to ingratiate herself to the BJP; today she is saying nice things about Sonia Gandhi because she wishes to ingratiate herself with Congress.
JJ: I have not said any such nice things. All that I said was I did not make any personal attacks and I have no reason to make any personal attacks. What happened during the parliamentary polls was an electoral confrontation and not a personal confrontation.
JJ: (Intervenes) Now I’m looking you straight in the eye and you are reading from your notes.
KT: I’m reading a quotation of yours so I don’t get it inaccurate. In ’98 you said it would be a national shame if that foreigner comes to power. In 2003 you said it will be a crime shame and moral bankruptcy for the Congress to project Sonia Gandhi as Prime Minister.
KT: You are a very tough person, Chief Minister.
JJ: People like you have made me so.
KT: You said that you were misunderstood.
KT: Do you think that you are badly treated by the press?
JJ: I do not wish to say anything more on this. Anyway your interview is not doing anything to help matters.
KT: My aim, Chief Minister, was to get to the core of the misunderstanding. You said that the press…
JJ: Your aim seems to have been to put as many unpleasant questions as possible and try to provoke me.
KT: Not to provoke you but to put to you the questions that have been discussed for the last three years and which in many ways may be responsible for the electoral adversity…
JJ: Haven’t you asked all of your questions? Have you got anything more to ask?
The ‘interview’ ended thus:
KT: Chief Minister, a pleasure talking to you on HARDtalk India.
JJ: I must say it wasn’t a pleasure talking to you. Namaste
Looking forward to your thoughts.
PS: Altering the appearance of the post to minimise space usage in my Friends’ LJs. Thanks Yodha for the reminder 🙂