My contract with India Today was not terminated: Karan Thapar

At a recent event in the NCR, it was journalist Thapar’s turn to answer some uncomfortable questions

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Nov 2, 2017 8:44 AM

Veteran journalist Karan Thapar is well known for his distinct style of interviewing. Direct, tough and sometimes aggressive, the popular TV anchor has never shied away from asking uncomfortable questions. At a recent event in the NCR, it was Thapar’s turn to answer some uncomfortable questions. When asked about his infamous interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he walked out of the show, Thapar believes that a more tactful way of asking the questions might have saved the situation.

“Mr. Modi is a perfect gentleman. I think he was upset because he did not think I will begin with the question about 2001-02. I think there is a more tactful way of approaching the same subject,” he said.

After interviewing scores of politicians in the last few decades, Thapar sums up his experience in these words, “Something I admire about politicians is that they can keep speaking and there has to be no context to what they say and you can’t understand when they would stop.”

Thapar also spoke about the famous Kapil Dev interview in which he broke down while recording the show. Calling such moments unprecedented, he said, “Any interviewer interviewing a celebrity, the bigger the celebrity the more the feeling, wants to see them distraught and in some sense ready to cry. If the interviewee starts to cry in front of you, the thought that goes through your mind is that this is unprecedented and let him not stop. It was a 25-minute interview recorded without a break. Kapil started crying somewhere in the 11th minute and I said to myself--this is incredible. How do I carry on and make sure he doesn’t stop? I thought that I should make my voice soft and gentle as much as I could manage but the questions continue to be hard and brittle. We managed to keep Kapil crying for 15 minutes.”

Ever since his contract ended with India Today in April 2017, there have been rumours that he was asked to leave given his political stand on various subjects. Putting all speculations to rest, Thapar spoke about what transpired between him and the India Today management which resulted in the show being taken off-air.

“It has not been taken of air. The contract that I had with India Today ended in April and both of us decided that we were perhaps better off without each other’s company. My contract was not terminated. It ended and it’s not a great secret that we looked upon subjects in different ways,” he said.

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