CHENNAI : Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai released his book Newsman: Tracking India in the Modi Era, at Raintree Hotel in Anna Salai on Saturday. The book is a collection of articles he wrote over the last four years. He has compiled and edited them to fit the contemporary political climate ahead of the 2019 polls.
Hosted by FICCI FLO Chennai, the release was followed by a discussion with the audience. “Modi has never had an open press conference till date. He had one after the 2002 Gujarat riots, but he avoided any open, and free press conferences while he was the Chief Minister. Institutionally, there is a lack of access to information from our leaders, and we don’t seem to complain about it,” he said.
Comparing Modi to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said that Modi is tech savvy and he communicates with the country through social media, while the latter showed much less regard for the abilities of technology but gave full freedom to the press during his term.
He criticised the coverage of Delhi-based news channels on the 2015 Chennai floods. Citing the example of the release of Padmaavat, he said that Bollywood could learn from south Indian cinema. South Indian actors are more outspoken and they have accepted their profession with a social responsibility which their northern counterparts lack, he explained.
“Politics has to be a 24/7 profession. You have to sacrifice your personal life for politics. If you see our politicans, they are all spinsters or bachelors, and most of them have no family. Those who do, make sure that their family takes over the political party’s business,” he said, in his conversation with Priya Gowtham and Nancy Sathish from FICCI FLO Chennai, in the presence of Anupama Shivaraman, the chairperson of FICCI FLO Chennai.