Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Mother of all Interviews - Karan Thapar Meets Amma

It was the best of interviews, it was the worst of interviews.

On Saturday night, I think I watched with fascination the best interview I've ever seen. OR should I say, the worst.
Karan Thapar (never my favourite anchorperson) blocked and tackled with Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on a variety of issues on HArdTalk India. As he badgered her with questions, she shot back, in anger, insult and impatience, her lips quivering with emotion.
While, most people I spoke to were convinced (immediately after the interview - in the heat of the moment, of course) that they had indeed witnessed 100 per cent entertainment, there were two entirely different points of view.
One group (a few people, admittedly) believes that Amma came out tops. That Karan Thapar got what he deserved.
The other group (I belong to this) thinks Karan Thapar emerged unscathed, with Jayalalitha behaving childishly churlish. Of course, he asked some questions he should not have (about her reading from notes and if she was embarrassed by her belief in astrology) unless the sole intention was to provoke her. But, at the end of the interview, she was revealed as "irrational", "vengeful", "undemocratic" and "irresponsible" - exactly what he said the media had accused her of. While he maintained his professional dignity right through, she even fell to saying it was not a pleasure meeting with Thapar on the interview, withdrawing her reluctantly outstretched hands to clasp them together for a 'namaste'.
So, tell us, which of the two groups do you belong to?
Or would you like to stand somewhere in the great in-between?


Btw, I have a full transcript of the interview for those who care to read.



Blogger S.Karthik said...

Yep Ramya, Could not agree with you more.

Jayalalithaa had a brilliant chance to be seen on BBC and though Karan might have asked some questions that were difficult for her to address, that was no way for a Chief Minister to conduct herself.

But to her advantage, the very people who are cheering her answers in the interview are the ones who are going to vote for her in 2006.

Quotable Quotes from the Matrix:

Architect to Neo: As you adequately put, the problem is choice ...

7:34 pm

Blogger Suderman said...

Maybe u shd provide a link to the whole transcript in your blog.. I ve just excerpts.
As for Thapar versus Amma, the regular Amma fans seem to be proud of her conduct in the interview!

10:18 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just managed to catch the dying moments of the interview over the weekend - from the part where she asked him to 'wait and see' (about the results of the upcoming elctions, I presumed).

I'll say this much....whether or not her behaviour was appropriate for airing on national TV, the woman has ba!!s!

Would love to know how the entire tete-a-tete went. Could you mail me at

Thanks. :-)

12:49 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ramya, Kat directed me to your blogs... send me a transcript it sounds interesting. I managed to borrow a copy of Iruvar while in London which was curious. Cheers Daniel

4:44 pm

Blogger capriciously_me said...

i would love to read the full transcript...if its not too much trouble, cud u plz mail me @

1:33 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Missed the interview as I was travelling. Would appreciate if you could send the transcript to Millions of thanks! ;) Ravi

1:30 pm

Blogger virdi said...

hey uc an check the transcript of the interview at

5:52 pm

Blogger REFLEX said...

The way this Interview is conducted is a debate. IMHO, a Chief Minister can have his own notes to refer to things as they cannot remember minor details and the way Thapar interview is a kind of crossing limits. I remember another interview which is telecasted in BBC about SAi BAba of Puttaparthi, the interviewer is asking a question to Murali Manohar Joshi who is ex HRD minister, he was literally shouting on her abt the question she was asking, He simply asked, DO YOU KNOW TO WHOM YOU ARE TALKING TO?. DO YOU KNOW THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKING TO A MINISTER OF THIS COUNTRY?. It sounds funny that let it be anyone, if you are a Minister, u are responsible to answer, I don't understand the need to be angry in that interview.

I saw that AMMA had no chance to finish her answers. Everyone in India to an extent believes in Astrology, the level differs. Karan Thapar emerged unscathed but he was insulted at the end.

2:46 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i get the transcript???? please please please
my id is

1:58 pm

Anonymous Anbu blogs said...

11:30 pm


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