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   I think we have all been a little unfair to the prime minister... (January 15, 1986)

I think we have all been a little unfair to the prime minister. As he has himself explained, he does not want to appear on TV all the time and has told the Doordarshan people about it. However, they keep putting him on TV.

I can visualise the following situation.

For once the prime minister comes home early, all set to spend a quiet evening with his family, watching TV, as so many Indian families do. They have an early dinner, then sit down in front of the TV.

The news is on and the prime minister is addressing air force officers in Manipur. "How boring," says Rahul," every time we put on the TV, we see the prime minister."

"Yes" says the prime minister, "this sort of publicity is nonproductive. How many time I have told the Doordarshan people not to project the prime minister, they are useless."

Another item is in the news, the prime minister is speaking to a group of scientists in Bangalore, urging them to take India into the 21st century. Daughter Priyanka says: "IF we were to go by Doordarshan, we would think there is nobody in the country except the prime minister."

"I do not know what to do with these people," the prime minister says, tearing at the remaining hair on his head. "How many time I have sent them notes to drop the prime minister and concentrate on other people but will they listen."

The next item comes on, the prime minister and his wife are talking to an old fisherman in a village near Cochin, or rather the prime minister is talking and his wife is standing near him. The prime minister's wife looks like she is going to switch-off the TV set. She says: "This is getting to be too much. Not only do they have to show the prime minister all the time, but also his wife. I wish you could tell them about this."

"But I have been telling them," the prime minister says. "I have writen a detailed not to Mr. Gadgil telling him what can be show on Doordarshan and what cannot. He just ignores my note and goes on filming me."

The next item shows the prime minister at Santacruz airport, with Mr. Murli Deora trying to get into the picture frame all the time.

The prime minister, visibly annoyed, picks up the remote control and switches of the TV set. Then says: "Tomorrow morning first thing, I am going to issue a directive instructing that Doordarshan should stop showing the prime minister and should in stead show Mr. Rajiv Gandhi.

 
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