A fresh selection of media questions from readers to the editorial director of The New Indian Express group, Prabhu Chawla, and answered with trademark candour.
Vol 1. No III.
Q: Why did you quit India Today group? I am asking this question because I am a big fan of your show Sidhi Baat.
A: I am now 65 year old. I wanted to do something new. You can watch my show Sachchi Baat on all the ETV channels on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Q: Once the Indian Express was the largest selling newspaper in the country with an impact which was unmatched. Why don’t the TNIE and IE merge? Please don’t evade the question by saying “I can’t comment”.
A: Of course, I can’t comment on an issue which involves the owners. I am sure both of them know what is good for both the organisations. Future of the Express spirit is great.
Q: What, in your own opinion, is the greatest achievement of your life? What is your greatest failure? If there is one thing that you could change in your past, then what would that be?
A: It is a tricky question. But greatest success has been in creating my successors who are better than me. My failure lies in that I haven’t learnt to be a good listener.
Q: If one analyzes the trend of this column, one can invariably reach the conclusion that some of the questions and answers are written by you yourself. Self praising column…as what more can be expected from you?
A: Please grant me the right to express myself. Don’t try to gag me as you will not succeed.
Q: I thought some of your columnists are anti-Hindu and biased, case in point is Jyoti Punwani‘s write up. Has paid news comes to TNIE? Please reply.
A: I didn’t know that if an article doesn’t support your point of view becomes a paid news? We allow free flow of expression and can’t be intimidated by those who are arrogant and intolerant.
Q: When India Today was facing strong attack from the newly launched Outlook*, in 1990s, Aroon Purie chose you to command the counter charge. Under your command, India Today won the war. Shall we expect a repeat of that feat now at the NIE?
A: Let us hope for the best. NIE is a very strong and credible brand. With the support of loyal readers and well wishers like you, we will make it better than the best.
* Disclosures apply
Also read: Prabhu Chawla out, M.J. Akbar in at India Today
Khushwant Singh: Why Aroon Purie ‘elevated’ Prabhu Chawla
Vol I. No.I: Straight drives from the man behind Seedhi Baat
Vol I. No II: Home truths from the man behind Sachchi Baat