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Question

Vir, in his book Sanjay baru claims that at one of the hindustan times summit you asked Sonia Gandhi pre-approved list of questions to her. Is this true, if so is this ethical

Ps: I am neither a chaddiwala nor a Bhakti.. Sincerely hope u don't duck this question..

Posted By: Shiv  |  Posted On: 13 Mar 2015  |  City: Nyc

Answer

 It's not true. In fact, it was Manmohan Singh who asked for a list of questions before hand. Sonia Gandhi agreed to a free-flowing conversation. And, as a matter of interest, even if the questions had been cleared with Sonia beforehand, how on earth would Sanjaya know? He was neither an insider at 10 Janpath nor at The Hindustan Times, and had no special access to information. 
 

Question

The detailed point Katju made about Gandhi that's stirred up a storm (the "British agent" nonsense aside) is not new. Many serious historians have questioned Gandhi's heavy usage of Hindu mythology and metaphors after he took over the Congress in the 1920s. Imagine that there's a leader of another religion who goes around talking in terms of his religious ideology and beliefs for the cause of Indian independence. Now imagine you, a Hindu, are the minority. It would probably make you uncomfortable, no? Gandhi may well have had accorded equal respect to all religions, but wasn't his heavy dosage of religion in politics a terrible idea?

Posted By: Ashish Pant  |  Posted On: 13 Mar 2015  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 I don't agree. Gandhi used Hindu symbolism to make political points. All over the West, secular leaders use Christian symbolism for the same purpose. It only makes minorities uncomfortable if this symbolism is accompanied by bigotry or intolerance. Whatever Gandhiji's faults, he was the greatest advocate India has seen of harmonious relations between people of all religions. 
 
Secularism does not mean that we deny religion. It means that we do not discriminate on the basis of religion. 
 

Question

Hi Vir,
Thank you so much for writing a book like Mandate: Will of the People! I am more than half way the book, and so far it has been an enriching experience. I can’t figure out how to really thank you for this!
Please tell us when is the Book Signing going to be organized. The book will be complete with your signatures on it.

Also, I would like to suggest if you could write similar books separately for individual States of India where you feel such similar and significant incidences has happened?

Lastly, also if you could write something similar about some other country ? It will be a boon!

Best regards.

Posted By: Amit Lodha  |  Posted On: 13 Mar 2015  |  City: Bombay

Answer

 Thank you so much for all the kind things you say. There is no greater reward for an author than when people enjoy his book. 
 
I am sure my publishers will organise events and signings. Will keep you posted. 

Question

I think you misunderstood things when you said you didn't agree with the "glee" on Twitter at AAP imploding. The glee is not so much at the implosion of a party. The glee is at the exposing of the most self-righteous, self-certifying, I-am-clean-you-are-all-dirty bunch of politicians India has ever seen. (Kejriwal, Khetan, Ashutosh, Vishwas...) When your whole career is built on media stings and a holier-than-thou image and you have advocated them explicitly, to react as they have to the Kejriwal sting is beyond comical and beyond shameful. That's where the glee comes in. Wouldn't you agree.

Posted By: Arpit  |  Posted On: 12 Mar 2015  |  City: Dubai

Answer

 Fair enough. You have a point. 

Question

Sir,
Do you think that Journalists/Reporters should also have some dress code whenever they are going for reporting or is that depends on the type of news which that reporter is covering.

With Regards,
Rohit Srivastava.

Posted By: Rohit Srivastava  |  Posted On: 11 Mar 2015  |  City: Ghaziabad

Answer

 I think all of us should have a dress code that is appropriate to the occasion. Journalists are no exception. 
 

Question

Dont you think that Modi has been unable to use his political capital earned after immense victory to actually bring about reforms? What do you think can the government do in a situation where the entire opposition is united against the Govt even to pass bills which they earlier supported?

Posted By: Mohit Kabra  |  Posted On: 11 Mar 2015  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 He should be used to it.  Even when the Congress was in a minority, the BJP was able to prevent legislation it had earlier supported from being passed, either by linking up with so-called Congress allies or by disrupting Parliament. Now that the BJP has a majority of its own, it should be able to do better than the Congress. 
 
If you play by one set of rules when you are in Opposition, then you can't expect them to change when you are in government. 
 

Question

I have started reading, your book, “Mandate”. Excellently written, easy to comprehend and precise. Are you organizing signings for the book in NCR? If yes, how can we get to know about the venue/date/time? My wife cheekily remarked after seeing cover page of your book that you are advertising a Rolex or Omega watch and that you can give any model run for his money !! Perhaps you or your publishing house could have added few rare photographs of key people or key events, mentioned in the book, from your personal collections, in case you have any..

Posted By: Abhishek  |  Posted On: 11 Mar 2015  |  City: Noida

Answer

 Please thank your wife but sadly my humble watch is neither an Omega nor a Rolex. We thought of including photos but that always increases the cover price and I wanted the book to reach as wide an audience as possible. 
 
I am loath to do book promotion events but I am sure that my publishers will organise something in Delhi anyway. Will keep you posted on the site. 
 

Question

You oppose ban on beef. I am sue u oppose the ban on alcohol in Gujarat. Do would you support lifting the ban on drugs etc as well? where do you draw your line?

Posted By: Nitin  |  Posted On: 09 Mar 2015  |  City: Pune

Answer

 It is a complicated issue that has been debated by many wiser people over many decades. If you really care about the answers, there are many books on the subject. It is not a flip issue to be disposed off in one para.

Question

Vir, do you think it's time to distinguish between a news anchor and a journalist?

Posted By: Shiv  |  Posted On: 09 Mar 2015  |  City: Nyc

Answer

 Yes. And let's leave it at that. 

Question

Hi Veer! Read your book, Mandate: Will of the people! Its too good! ?? coudn't kept it away without finishing it first!!! ??

Posted By: Sonal  |  Posted On: 08 Mar 2015  |  City: chandigarh

Answer

 Thank you so much. 

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