Won't Talk Godhra,
Walks Out Of Interview
By Karan Thapar
22 October, 2007
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi walked out of an exclusive interview
with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate because he was questioned
about Godhra. Narendra Modi walked out of the interview less than five
minutes after it started in Gandhinagar on Friday.
Here's an excerpt from the interview.
Karan Thapar: Hello and Welcome to Devil's Advocate. Does the Chief
Minister of Gujarat have an image problem and can he win another election
and become the Chief Minister again? Those are the two key issues I
shall explore today in an exclusive interview with the Chief Minister
himself Narendra Modi.
Mr Narendra Modi lets start by talking about you. In the six years that
you have been the Chief Minister of Gujarat Rajeev Gandhi foundation
has declared Gujarat to be the best administered state. India today
on the two separate ocassions declared that you are the most efficient
Chief Minister and despite that people still call you, to your face,
a mass murderer. And they accuse you of being prejudiced against Muslims?
Do you have an image problem?
Narendra Modi: I think it's not proper to say that people. There are
two or three persons who talk in this terminology and I always say God
Karan Thapar:You are saying this is the conspiracy of two or three persons
Narendra Modi: I have not said so.
Karan Thapar: But you are saying its only two or three people.
Narendra Modi: This is the information I have. It's the people's voice.
Karan Thapar: Can I point out to you that in September 2003 the Supreme
Court said that they had lost faith in the Gujarat government. In April
2004 the Chief Justice of Supreme Court said that you were like a modern
day Nero who looks the other side when helpless children and innocent
women are burned. The Supreme Court seems to have a problem with you.
Narendra Modi: Karan, I have a small request to make. Please go through
the Supreme Court judgement. If there is anything in writing, I'll be
happy to know everything.
Karan Thapar: There was nothing in writing you are right. It was an
Narendra Modi: if it is in judgement then I'll be happy to give you
Karan Thapar: But do you mean a criticism by the Chief Justice in court
Narendra Modi: It's a simple request. Please go through the court judgement.
Hand out the sentence you are quoting and let the people know it.
Karan Thapar: Okay. It wasn't just an open comment made by the Chief
Justice. In August 2004, the Supreme Court reopened 2100 cases out of
a total of 4600 -- almost 40 per cent -- and they did so because they
believed that justice hadn't happened in Gujarat.
Narendra Modi: I'll be happy. Ultimately the court of law will take
Karan Thapar: But isn't this the reason that despite the fact India
today called you the best Chief Minister, Rajeev Gandhi foundation said
Gujarat is the best administered state, people say Modi is prejudiced
against the Muslims. This is why I ask you do you have an image problem?
Narendra Modi: Actually I have not spent a single minute on my image
and that can also be a reason. I am busy with my work. I am committed
to Gujarat. I am dedicated to Gujarat. I never talk about my image.
I never spent a single minute for my image and therefore confusions
may be there.
Karan Thapar: I'll tell you what the problem is. Even five years after
the Gujarat killings of 2002 the ghost of Gujarat still haunts you.
why have you not done more to allay that ghost?
Narendra Modi: This I gave it to the media persons like Karan Thapar.
Let them enjoy.
Karan Thapar: Can I suggest something to you?
Narendra Modi: I have no problem.
Karan Thapar: Why can't you say that you regret the killings that happened.
Why can't you say may be the government should have done more to protect
Narendra Modi: What I had to say I have said at that time and you can
find out my statements.
Karan Thapar: Just say it again.
Narendra Modi: Not necessary. I have to talk about in 2007 everything
you want to talk about.
Karan Thapar: But by not saying it again, by not letting people hear
the message repeatedly you are allowing an image contrary to Gujarat
to continue. It's in your hands to change it.
Narendra Modi: I'll have to rest. I need some water.
Karan Thapar: Pani.
Narendra Modi: Dosti bani rahe, bass. I'll be happy. You came here.
I am happy and thankful to you. I can't do this interview. It's okay,
your things are. Apne ideas hain aap bolte rahiye aap karte rahiye.
Three - four questions I've already enjoyed. Nahin please.
Karan Thapar: But Modi Sahab
Narendra Modi: Nahi please, Karan.
Karan Thapar:But Modi Sahab
Narendra Modi: Karan dekho main dostana sambhand rakhna chahta hoon,
aap usko koshish kariye.
Karan Thapar: Mujhe ek cheez samjhayee sir. I am not talking about doing
anything wrong. I am saying why can't you correct your image?
Narendra Modi: This is not the time. Uske liye aap mujhe 2002 mein mile
hote, 2003 mein mile hote. Mein sab kar leta.
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