Goa CM interview to NYT

Recent interview by CM of Goa, Manohar Parrikar to the NYT got highlighted in the local media and the usual “Anti Modi bits” were highlighted. I have put in the quotes “anti – modi bits”, for the reason that on reading the full interview they are not comments against the Gujarat CM at all just stating of facts. But the media reaction out here has got so stale that it just doesnt make any sense at all to even react to these acts by them.

Here is that piece in the New York Times http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/a-conversation-with-goa-chief-minister-manohar-parrikar/?_r=1

The piece starts with a sober headline A Conversation With: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar introducing the interviewee by stating he could be an alternative to the Gujarat CM for the position of PM candidate for the BJP.

The reference to Gujarat riots that happened very early on Modi tenure was a response to a question posed by the NYT reporter as follows

Q. You have said the 2002 Gujarat riots under Mr. Modi were an administrative failure. Should he apologize for this lapse that resulted in so many deaths, as his critics suggest?
A.Administrative failure does not mean everything is blamed on one man, Narendra Modi. What happened then was unfortunate, but that does not require his apology, it requires his correction and he has done that. There were many reasons why people lost control in 2002 after the dead bodies [of Hindu pilgrims from an earlier attack] were shown on TV. It should not have happened, the administration should have clamped down on any violence, [If I were in his place] I would have ensured…but Modi was new to the job as chief minister. It was a blot on Modi’s career, but he was not personally a part of it. If he is guilty by connivance he should be punished, but investigations have given him a clean chit. People who oppose him do so because they fear him.

Parrikar re- iterates his earlier stance that the riots were an administrative failure and the blame should not be on one man. He states that what happened was unfortunate and it requires corrective action (which Modi took) rather than an apology. People essentially lost control after dead bodies (of an earlier attack on hindu pilgrims) was shown on television. Administration should have clamped down on violence and if he was in Modi’s place he would hve ensured that but Modi was new to the job of the chief minister. It was a blot on his career although he was not personally responsible for it. Investigators have so far given him a clean chit.

Consider the NYT headlines for the article and the local media headline. You can observe the difference. Its Restrained, relatively unbiased coverage which is the hallmark of the western media coverage should come to India. The tabloid culture which has seeped into media channels could end up damaging the credibility of news coverage.


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