September 14, 2007

Devil’s Misguided Disguise

What's the deal with seemingly intelligent people doing dumb things on TV? A couple of days ago I caught Karan Thapar interviewing Benazir Bhutto on TV. I don't think this is the first time Mr. Thapar was involved in pow-wow with the ex-Pakistani premier but this was the first time when Mr. Thapar came across as a bumbling fool.

Many don't like the hard as nails and looking down upon you attitude that Mr. Thapar puts on display but man's shows do make for interesting viewing. So what went wrong this time?


The interview was on air a day after Nawaz Sharif was deported (perhaps it was a re-run) and here we had Mr. K asking juvenile questions and getting answers as preposterous as the questions. The interview seemed as if a PM designate was being coached by her #1 PR guy! Imagines questions like '
India is worried about militant groups like LeT and Jaish-E-Mohammed and President Mushrraf's hollow promises about doing something about them...if you were to become the PM would you put an end to such outfits?' or 'The West has this perception about Pakistan being a regressive nation that supports radical fundamentalists who hamper peace, if you were to become the PM would you try and change this wrong notion?' and some questions like 'India believes the root cause of all it's issues with Pakistan is Kashmir, would it one of your biggest challenges to solve this 60-year old thorn-in-the-flesh issue as soon as you become the PM?'

If you think Mr. Thapar looked like an idiot asking these questions then Ms. Bhutto came across as some prim and propah thing interviewed by some dean of some Ivy League college far removed from the problems of the 'real' world. I feel at times many interviewers let their personal emotions get the better of them but Mr. Thapar manages to conceal whatever his personal take on the subject be. His aggressive style may have ruffled many feathers but this time around Ms. Bhutto used the famous charm and the interview seemed like one big PR exercise. Will I stop watching Mr. Thapar's show? Are you kidding me? No way...I enjoyed the stupidity more than I could have imagined!

And the timing of the telecast made it funnier. Funny thing this timing; Mr. Sharif thought the time was right and people would support the return of the king, Ms. Bhutto thought the time was ripe to strike a deal (she used the word 'arrangement') with Musharraf and the popular president thought the time was right to...well he ain't sure no more!

Image Courtesy: Hindu

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