By Abhishek Jha:
British journalist Mehdi Hasan, presenter of ‘UpFront’ and ‘Head to Head’ for Al Jazeera, has interviewed academics, politicians, intelligence officials- several people in positions of power. Irrespective of the part of the spectrum from which his interviewees belong, Hasan – a sheaf of researched material in hand – has forced them to answer tough questions. In the hot seat, even the most astute of his subjects has been found squirming.
For his latest interview, Hasan went Head to Head with Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of the BJP and former member of the National Executive of the RSS at the Oxford Union, and the interview has already made headlines. Hasan, not wasting time on any mollycoddling, went straight into Award Wapsi and beef ban. Madhav managed to avert the first few by accusing Hasan of having the wrong data, until he had repeated the answer so many times that the audience couldn’t help but laugh. However, when put in a spot by a question on the policy framework on Kashmir, something that usually insists on when discussing “disputed” territories, a worked up Madhav ended up- a Freudian slip perhaps- saying “your ISIS”, prompting the journalist to retort twice with “my ISIS?” even as Madhav kept talking.
Recorded on the 7th of December, the interview’s broadcast and publication on Youtube coincided with the Prime Minister’s Pakistan detour, which has put Madhav again in a slight trouble due to his comments on “Akhand Bharat” in the interview.