Bobby Naqvi, who interviewed PM Narendra Modi last year, says the process was ‘long drawn’ and ‘cumbersome’.In the backdrop of the heavily-publicised interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, a UAE-based journalist has posted on Facebook an account of his experience interviewing the Indian head of state.
Bobby Naqvi, the journalist, is reported to have interviewed the Prime Minister last year after Independence Day and ahead of the latter’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He begins the Facebook post by writing that arranging the interview itself can be ‘a long drawn and cumbersome process.’
“After exchanging several emails with bureaucrats for several days, I received a call from a very senior official saying: “Bobby, I have good news and bad news. Which one you want to hear first?” I didn’t know what to say. Before I could speak, he said that the “PM has agreed.” Then he mentioned two other publications would also be present. I was hugely disappointed as it was no longer an exclusive interview,” he writes.
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Naqvi then goes on to write in detail about how he was asked to send in questions for ‘prior approval’ and the series of security processes that he had to follow to get the most coveted interview.
The interview that the Prime Minister gave to Times Now was his first with an Indian news channel after he was sworn to power in 2014. PM Modi has largely desisted from giving interviews or speaking to Indian journalists in the last two years.
Naqvi and the other journalists who got the appointment was told minutes before the interview that he could ask just one question while the rest would be provided in writing after the meeting. There were also ‘polite but firm’ directions from an official informing them of the ‘order of the interview.’
Read Bobby Naqvi’s Facebook post below that has been shared more than 350 times.