PM Speaks To Coy,Gushing Arnab: Swamy Enough! No More Publicity Stunts
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose trusted anchor, Arnab Goswami of Times Now, to break his silence on some specific issues in an interview that was more generalistic in its approach, but with a response to BJP MP Subramanian Swamy perhaps one of the few specific takeaways.
No one mentioned Swamy by name, but the reference was clear when the issue of the attack on Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and other senior officials was raised. PM Modi said that he viewed such statements and remarks as “inappropriate.” And that such “publicity stunts” should be stopped.
He spoke highly of Rajan, but did not directly answer the question about his resignation. The PM said the attack on him for being anti national was completely wrong. “I believe his patriotism is no less than ours” and went on to say that Rajan did not need a specific post to serve the country. And that he would serve the country regardless of where he was because he “loves India.”
PM Modi added, “those who spoke list this were doing him an injustice.” And that he wished him well always. His remarks come a little late, as a similar observation earlier might not have led to the hasty exit by the RBI Governor.
Swamy had accused Rajan of not working in India’s interests. In the face of silence from PM Modi and other senior leaders of the party, the RBI Governor announced his decision to leave at the end of his term in September.
The Prime Minister said that when his government came to power in 2014, the media was speculating constantly whether the Rajan---appointed by the earlier Congress government---would be removed as RBI Governor. He said that this did not happen, Rajan was allowed to complete his term without interference, and although he did not say so the implication was that his term was going to end, and hence it was time for him to leave.
The long interview, still on at the time of writing this, saw Arnab Goswami in a different avataar. Gone was the screaming, raging anchor, shouting out his questions; he was not even replaced by a professional, hard hitting journalist asking tough questions to a political leader; but by a supplicant, showering praise and compliments, giggling (at times) anchor eager to please the Prime Minister. And doing so by ensuring that he did not ask a second question even when there was sufficient room for doing so, and letting the one reply to the one question pass muster. Goswami was almost coy, very very polite (eye opener for many), and gushing on occasion as when he spoke of PM Modi’s “sense of humour.” Both laughed as they spoke of the PM’s speech as the US Congress.
But to give Goswami some due, perhaps if he had not agreed to keep questions soft by not asking a follow on question, he would not have got the interview from a Prime Minister who avoids one to one with the media, as well as official press conferences in India.
PM Modi did not jump at questions on Pakistan, refusing to be drawn into a discussion on the Pathankot terror attack, and his own reaching out just before that to Islamabad with several meetings and an unscheduled visit to Lahore to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said the world knew that India wanted peace in the region, and as for the borders “our jawans have been given full freedom” to defend these.
On the Nuclear Suppliers Group fiasco---of course it was not put like that---the PM said that he had started the ball rolling. He said he had been criticised because his visit to the US had been so successful just before that.
And now the last question from Goswami Mr PM what is your greatest source of worry. PM said he likes to face problems, not run away from them, whatever loss he has to face for this he does, he has been given the responsibility and he would complete it,the people who work in small jobs are his inspiration.