Saturday, May 27, 2006

Karan Thapar interviews Arjun Singh

I happened to read through the transcript of the recent Karan Thapar vs Arjun Singh interview. I thought it made interesting reading.

The Devil’s Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.

Karan Thapar has been notorious in putting even the seasoned politician on the backfoot and the case of Arjun Singh was not to be an exception.

Throughout the interview the Minister was on the backfoot and at a loss of words to justify the decision of the Parliament on reservations. He was not even able to provide the percentage of the OBC population in the country. When the numbers referred to by the interviewer made the case of reservation non-essential, the minister only repeated that the decision has been taken by the parliament, an insufficient defense, to say the least.

It was an interesting read, you have to give it to Thapar. He does it meticulously, like the hyena pack attacking the prey from all sides and disorienting it.

The highlight was the part where he showed that the present Congress Government may be in disagreement with Jawarhalal Nehru who, on the 27th of June 1961 wrote to the then Chief Ministers expressing his "dislike" for "any kind of reservations... The moment we encourage the second-rate, we are lost... This way lies not only folly, but also disaster."

On this Karan started of by stressing Arjun Singh's admiration for Nehru, immediately highlighting the fact that Nehru was against any kind reservation. The minister's reply was a weak "that is the will of Parliament".

In fact he kept repeating it many times, giving an impression that he is a puppet who cannot do anything else other than go by the majority decision. That he did not stoutly defend the decision of the parliament gives the impression that he might also be against reservations.

Given the evasive and unsatisfactory replies for the most part also proved that Mr.Arjun Singh was lacking in research, preparation and utterly defenseless.

The winner was of course Karan Thapar who drew blood one more time.

For those who would like to read it in full, follow the below link:

Karan Thapar, according to wikipedia, is one of India's noted television commentators and interviewers
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