BJP state Vice President in Maharashtra Kirit Somaiya owned social media yesterday, with a video clip of him in conversation with an NDTV India journalist going super viral. Kirit Somaiya is a two time Lok Sabha MP from Maharashtra and is currently playing a crucial role as the opposition to the Shiv Sena led government in the state.
The BJP state unit organized an awareness programme at a school in Mumbai’s Matunga area. This was met with an immediate notice being served to the school authorities by the Sena government. This event formed the crux of the journalist’s questions to Somaiya, who quite savagely responded with one same line, 27 times in a row, to varying questions.
“Maine Aapko Jawaab De Diya Hai” was the answer of Kirit to every single question of the reporter. The reporter was evidently seen frustrated, yet keeping his calm, as he was being destroyed by Kirit Somaiya. The BJP and NDTV have not shared the best of relations in recent history, courtesy the obvious bias and political inclination of the channel. Further, charges of large scale money laundering by Prannoy and Radhika Roy has also distanced the governing party from the channel.
HahahHahHahahahHa. @KiritSomaiya is a dude.
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) January 14, 2020
The contention which some in the media and in the state government had was that school children were being used for political propaganda by the BJP. The same individuals were cheer-leading when videos of little kids shouting violent slogans at Shaheen Bagh surfaced. The same individuals also, were more than glad that children were being used as human shields after the Jamia Milia fiasco last month.
Kirit Somaiya refused to acknowledge the existence of the NDTV reporter, and his desperate attempt at getting a sound byte even after Somaiya had briefed the media earlier was out for everyone to witness. As a result, Somaiya thought it best to knowingly irritate the reporter, and boy, irritated he was. The journalist closed his byte with mumblings of calling Somaiya a ‘machine’ and how he was answering all questions with the same answer.
Kirit Somaiya dealt with a reporter he did not want to give a byte to very maturely. At no point did he harass the reporter, or try to harm him physically (remember Tharoor assaulting Aditya Raj Kaul in 2017?). Moreover, unlike other politicians who insulted and openly boycotted reporters of channels whose editorial policy was not favourable to them and their party, Somaiya here did not do any of the above. He simply put his message across to the media house in question very clearly – that he will not engage with them. Given the kind of sympathy the anti-CAA protesters and their political masters have been getting from NDTV, I’d say this was a very mature way of handling their reporter.