Our self declared guardian of ‘authentic journalism’, Ravish Kumar, recently had an interview with the blue eyed boy of the left liberals, and the current CPI [M] candidate from Begusarai, Kanhaiya Kumar. With the kind of gusto, Ravish claims to be the ‘truth-seeker’ and champions himself as the ‘One’ who speaks truth to power, one expected the journalist to ask some tough questions to the man who oversaw the notorious ‘Tukde Tukde’ agitations in 2016 as the then JNUSU president.
However, a few minutes into the interview, and it turned out that the so-called braveheart Ravish Kumar was no different from his more refined colleagues, who surprisingly became yes men when interviewing the members of the notorious Nehru Gandhi dynasty. One of the first questions that Ravish asked Kanhaiya was: When are you getting married?
Yes, let that sink in. All that Ravish Kumar had, to begin with, while interviewing Kanhaiya was this question. Contrary to his carefully constructed image, Ravish Kumar asked questions that sounded more hilarious than genuine. He even glorified Kanhaiya’s so-called poverty and his relation with his father, even when according to the affidavit filed during the nominations, Kanhaiya earned way more than an average middle-class professional would do in an entire year. Overall, all we saw in those 48 minutes of the interview was a matrimonial advertisement for Kanhaiya Kumar.
This was not all. Kanhaiya Kumar was spared the tough questions that would’ve exposed his actual personality. No questions were asked on his involvement with the ‘Tukde Tukde’ agitations of 2016, or his alleged sexual harassment of a fellow JNU student way back in 2015, when she found him urinating in public. Despite Kanhaiya being found guilty of the crimes and being slapped with a fine of Rs. 3000, Ravish chose to conveniently ignore them. It is pertinent to note here that Kanhaiya Kumar is a person who has been accused of sedition. For a person known for his ‘courageous’ journalism, he sure didn’t portray it in the interview.
This is in stark contrast to his other interviews, more particularly the one with Kiran Bedi which he took before the Delhi Assembly elections. In the interview, it can be seen how his questing style is considerably different for a recipient of the President’s Police Medal, as compared to a sedition accused. For the interview, he caught hold of Kiran Bedi during her morning exercise routine.
There he proceeded to bombard her with all kinds of irrelevant questions, first doubting her present political knowledge and thereafter talking about her past instances. He grilled her about the towing of Indira Gandhi’s car, an incident which has been well recorded in all the national newspapers. He went so far as to ask whether the reason for her not being promoted was her negligence during the duty, to which Kiran Bedi reminded him of her various awards and accomplishments which were not given to just any person in vain. So incessant was his interruption and continuous mockery that Kiran Bedi had to request him to keep the interview respectful.
This contrast between the two interviews is substantially noticeable. It is clear from the tone and the kind of questions itself that the motives of the two interviews are widely different. Whereas Kiran Bedi’s was more of a “digging up the past to implicate an IPS officer of something”, Kanhaiya Kumar’s was more of “the life and times of the magical boy” The contrast begs the obvious question, if Ravish’s courage is selective and changes colors according to the ideology and affiliation of the interviewee?