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Modi compared with Tony Abbott on Q & A, India

On Monday November 18, 2013 Tony Jones’ Q & A moved to India and did a live recording and special session at Gurgaon’s Kingdom of Dreams. Q & A in India lived up to its expectations ”“ lively and argumentative that reminded Tony Jones of the famous book ”˜The Argumentative Indian’ by Amratya Sen. The erudite panel was highly overqualified ”“ among them two Australians, an Indian Minister and three journalists.

When you get a panel as qualified as India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development  Shashi Tharoor; Outspoken conservative commentator  Swapan Dasgupta;  Editor of investigative news magazine  Tehelka   Shoma Chaudhury;  Award-winning TV host and journalist  Karan Thapar; Former Australian cricketer  Stuart MacGill  and Australian-born Bollywood star  Pallavi Sharda it was bound to be a bit unruly even at the hands of an adept moderator like Tony Jones. India and Indian issues are complex and so did the answers to questions by the panellists who tried to outdo each other yet answer the complexity of Indian issues that even Tony Jones realised that he must do more Q & As on India and often enough.

Q & A India did not even get fielded questions on corruption in India or the poor infrastructure there and more while the country is touted as the rising Asian power along with China.

The discussions topics included the Indian students imbroglio, the plight and rise of Indian women, Sachin Tendulkar and his comparison to the great Don Bradman, of course, the distribution of cheap food to the poor and finally who would be best suited to lead the Indian government cometh the next election.

That’s where it went haywire ”“ Indian journalist Swapan Dasgupta comparing Narendra Modi to Tony Abbott and cricketer Stuart MacGill claiming the high ground for Abbott that Australians would not have considered Abbott as a PM if he was tainted by the loss of innocent lives as Modi has been alleged to have ministered over.

It was all well for MacGill to limit himself to the cricket as he conveniently forgot that the Australian PM also should be held morally responsible for the hundreds of innocent refugees who have lost lives on the seas seeking asylum in Australia.

Tehelka’s Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary came across well and answered quite capably in tackling the Minister Shashi Tharoor as well as her fellow jouranlists Karan Thapar and Swapan Dasgupta.


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