Some months back, eminent journalist Karan Thapar, at the release of his book, had mentioned that Narendra Modi shuns him and the BJP leaders also shun him, purportedly under orders from Narendra Modi. He has also mentioned that he is unable to understand the reasons for this boycott.
First let us go through a few lines of what Karan said, in his own words:
Was the problem the interview I had done with Mr Modi in 2007, during the campaign for his second term as chief minister of Gujarat, when he had walked out after barely three minutes?
I wanted to meet Mr Modi to find out why I was being boycotted by his ministers and his party, and added that if I had unwittingly done something to upset the prime minister I was happy to apologize.
I had offended Narendra Modi and this was the result. The only thing I still wasn’t sure of is when precisely that offence had happened. Was it the interview in 2007 or was it earlier with my ‘Sunday Sentiments’ column of March 2002?
As soon as I read this, I immediately met Karan Thapar and told him the real reason why Modi hates him. I encouraged him to make this reason public so that everyone can realize how Modi holds grudges. But Karan has so far refused to speak in public about it.
Then I read this line in Karan Thapar’s book.
I asked Sambit Patra if there was a problem. In a hushed voice and a manner that suggested he was embarrassed, he asked if I could keep a secret before he answered. When I gave him the necessary assurance, he said that all BJP spokespersons had been told not to appear on my shows.
I immediately realized my mistake. If I really wanted Karan to make this public, I should have told him in a hushed voice and asked him to keep it a secret. However, what is done is done. Since Karan has not come out publicly about this, I consider it my duty as a responsible citizen to bring this out in the open. The real reason Modi hates Karan Thapar is because after Modi became Prime Minister, I came several times on Karan’s show and bashed Modi with facts and figures. Modi had nowhere to hide. The only reason Modi hates Karan Thapar is because Karan gave me a platform to air my views.
On a side-note, I also told Karan Thapar that his style of getting interviews through connections was outdated. I asked him to go around the streets and fist fight like Rajdeep Sardesai if he still wanted to continue his career in journalism.