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   One of the most difficult jobs in the country... (February 14, 1986)

One of the most difficult jobs in the country is that of Mr. Vithal Gadgil, the minister in charge of Doordarshan. His mind is continuously at work and he has to make decisions every second.

For instance, Mr. Gadgil gets up in the morning and his first thought is: I hope Rajivji found nothing objectionable in last night’s news, Perhaps, I should have played down the Hegde resignation bit, thought Rajivji does not say it, he does not like too much publicity being given to India’s second most charismatic man. Then again, Rajivji does not like playing down of news abour opposition leaders, it spoils his image as a democrat.

Mr. Gadgil has a bath, then, as he is shaving he looks at himself in the mirror and wonders: Where did I go wrong Rajivji himself gave the interview to Jack Anderson Naturally, he must have expected me to show it on Doordarshan, he like all his American programmes to be replayed on Doordarshan. But then again, I should have seen it first, eliminated that then he would have wirtten in his paper that I am censoring programmes, keeping only Rajivji in, removing all others. Rajivji would not have liked that at all, he would have hit the ceiling.

Mr. Gadgil sits down to breakfast, puris, potatoes tea: I better not eat too much, I have got a hard day ahead, so many decisions to make. Should I send M. J. Akbar’s programme to Rajivji to see first, then give it permission to be aired, or should I show it and let Rajivji see it on TV like everybody else? I know Rajivji does not like to be bothered with every little detail, only those programmes that concern him directly. Perhaps, I should show it to Mohamed Yunus. But he is quite capable of writing directly to Rajivji and telling him what I am doing.

Mr. Gadgil is on the way to his ministry: Wish I was on my way to the external affairs ministry or the home ministry or finance, anything but this. I reallyshould not have allowed them to say that the opposition’s bandh was a flop, but I thought Rajivji would have liked me to let them say so. But now Rajivji is embarrassed and it is my fault. I should have made them say that the opposition’s bandh was partial success. But Rajivji may not have liked that and he would have had a point. I wonder if Rajivji wants me to give more emphasis to Punjab affairs or less. And now not only Punjab, I have also to take decisions on Karnataka. I wonder what exactly are Rajivji’s views on Karnataka.

Mr. Gadgil is sitting at this desk: Let me first decide whether Rajivji would want me to continue with the Yeh to Hai Zindagi series or replace it with another round of Hum Log. And I know that the public does not like Muzzafar Ali’s programme, but Rajivji may be liking it. Must go through the mail, there is bound to be another note from Rajivji.

All of which leads me to the conclusion that Mr. Gadgil should not continue as minister for information and broadcasting. Mr. Arun Nehru should be given that post, at least he claims he knows Mr. Gandhi’s mind. Or that he is Mr. Gandhi’s mind.

 
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