The mainstream media in India is always on the lookout for soft news and now soft targets. But, this time it was the turn of one of the country’s well known private television news channel’s talk show host Mr Karan Thapar to finally meet his match in former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, the presidential nominee of the Opposition BJP, AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.
The recent television interview of Mr Sangma by Mr Thapar was in fact like the CBI grilling a terror suspect. What transpired in the show has been discussed by Mr Sangma supporters even at the grassroots level. Many are saying the show was conducted to”indirectly campaign for Sangma’s opponent Mr Pranab Mukherjee.”
Thapar began the show with his impressive trademark Devil’s Advocate lip smacking juicy grind but was soon given a dose of his own medicine when Mr Sangma realized that the “big man” of CNN-IBN was out to grill him rather than doing an interview.
When Mr Thapar asked Mr Sangma why he was contesting when “you have very little chance of winning”. Sangma slapped back: “I guess nobody taught Thapar The Tool (read fool), that in a democracy it is almost a “sin” to not contest elections and allow any candidate to be elected unopposed. This is the very foundation of democracy. But slaves like CNN-IBN, The Tool (read fool) and others in the MSM want Pranab to be elected unanimously. Was democracy created for unanimity? Shameful!”
A supporter of Mr Sangma after watching the show said that Mr Thapar “was unreasonably rude to Sangma who is highly respected person across India.” “How can he demean him by saying that Sangma should not have contested the presidential poll.”
If you take a careful look at the shots Mr Thapar fired at Mr Sangma you might as well be give a thumbs-up to the politician from Meghalaya who has never lost an electoral battle.
Following is some of the excerpts from the show. (Full transcripts here)
Mr Sangma let me put it to you, people are fond of you, they indulge you, but they are laughing at the fact that you believe that you can win. Nobody believes it but you.
By sheer logic why was The Tool’s channel breaking so much sweat over Lee-Hesh and Tennis players for the Olympics. Does anyone seriously expect them to win a medal? What is the motive for deriding a person’s candidature? It can’t be mere bias or sympathy for the other ticket. It has to be a lot more than that. And those who play or contest elections must firmly do so with the belief they can win. If not, they should behave like losers like The Tool.
Are you a little worried that by standing in the face of such odds and they are incredible odds, you might make yourself a laughing stock?
A laughing stock? Where does such language come from? Only uncouth, uncivilised and badly reared journalists talk to a presidential candidate in this filthy language. I wonder if such journalists are becoming the speciality of CNN-IBN. In reference to BJP’s support for Sangma, The Tool comes up with this:
Mr Sangma are you reducing the killings in Kandhamal, the killings in Dang, the Graham Staines, as a few incidents?
And then morons like The Tool and his channel keep screaming about “Secularism” and “One nation”. What has Kandhamal got to do with Sangma’s candidature? Has The Tool asked Pranab about Emergency? Given that Pranab was directly involved in certain actions during that time? Has The Tool asked Pranab about favours and offences relating to benefits allowed to some corporate bodies?
Mr Sangma, even if you look at the BJP, who you said a moment ago had increased their support for you to 26-28 per cent, are using you… as a stepping stone over the bridge to Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik. Mr Sangma you are a tool. You are a part of a strategy that supports their convenience. That’s why they are supporting you, not because they believe in you.
Those are not questions. Those are inferences and theories spawned by the interviewer himself. That’s CNN-IBN journalism for you. You think we are ignorant of which media is whose tool? Mr Karan, you think we are ignorant of which media is whose tool. Mr Karan don’t talk about tools.
Are you suggesting that my questioning is motivated?
Yes, yes, you are also a tool….
The show which as Mr Sangma suggested was “a tool” by the other party has in fact boomeranged. Mr Sangma grabbed the ‘tool’ and used it to hit back at his host and detractors. Because of Mr Sangma’s heroic statements against the ‘tool’, a common man can continue to have dreams of becoming the president of this great country even when he knows that the odds (numbers and ‘tool’) are against him.