My wife narrowed her eyes the moment I told her about it. “Are you sure you are going to do this? He won’t ever give you a job. You know that right?”
I smiled, as I shut my laptop and assured her that I am not going to write about it.
If a journalist doesn’t get to work with Shekhar Gupta because he dared to criticise him, then journalism in India should die a thousand deaths. So, with much confidence on Shekhar Gupta, I quietly decided to ignore my wife’s advice.
So, here I am, calling out Shekhar Gupta for the Sunny Leone interview.
It was no good, sir.
Mr Gupta might consider himself lucky. Bhupendra Chaubey interviewed Sunny Leone on the same day and at the same venue. If I am not wrong, the two interviews were slated one after another. Sunny Leone walked out onto a field in front of stage number three at the Mehboob Studios after a gut wrenching talk with Mr Chaubey. I am told, she just took a few minutes off to adjust her hair and drink a glass of water in-between. One interview was held inside the Mehboob Studios and the other, just outside it. The studio was hired just for media interactions by the publicity team.
In fact, you might spot her frowning at Shekhar Gupta at the beginning of the interview. Perhaps it was the Bhupendra Chaubey effect.
After watching both the interviews, I wrote a BLOG about how both the talented ‘editors’ in the country asked her silly and ill-prepared questions. Fortunately for Shekhar Gupta, Bhupendra Chaubey’s interview turned out to be so offensive and judgmental, that Gupta ended up with all the bouquets and Chaubey got all the brickbats. Bhupendra’s interview was so bad that Shekhar is looking good.
Some bloggers even pointed out that Shekhar Gupta’s interview is the best way to interview her. They said that Shekhar Gupta started off by complimenting her and engaged her into an engrossing conversation. Really?
If you watch Shekhar Gupta’s interview in isolation, then you will see a different story.
Contrary to what other bloggers are saying, Shekhar Gupta didn’t start about complimenting her.
Of course, Shekhar had done some homework on Sunny Leone but his line of conversation remained the same. He too chose to concentrate on Sunny Leone’s past life and didn’t allow many digressions.
In the initial few minutes of the interview, he asked if Sunny is the most searched person on the internet because of her ‘notoriety’. He went on to probe how she ended up as the Penthouse Pet of the Year, in detail.
As the interview went on, Shekhar became even more gentle but he kept to his line and length on the pitch.
He politely asked Sunny whether she had publicly shaved off her pubic hair to protest against George Bush and whether sex in front of the camera is ‘pure mechanics’.
He too maintained his point, which was sex and porn and India’s prejudice. He too spoke a lot about Sunny getting judged all the time by Bollywood stars. The same old questions that Sunny had answered numerous times before.
Shekhar Gupta did everything so gracefully and nicely that he is looking like an angel in comparison to Bhupendra Chaubey.
Of course, you will ask me, if Shekhar Gupta doesn’t ask her these questions then what does he ask? Is there anything left for an ordinary journalist to ask?
Now, that’s precisely my point.
Because we are not talking about any journalist, we are talking about somebody who is arguably India’s best.