Friday the 13th was round the corner and sections of the Indian media lived up to the horror. Even before Modi-ji could board the Air India flight to the United Kingdom, many of the TV news channels went into overdrive. We present you some ridiculous moments from the coverage of the PM’s visit to the UK.
This India Today reporter was so excited, she found three different ways to ask the “how-excited-are-you” question. Too bad some of that excitement didn’t rub off on the people she was interviewing.
And then she did this:
The welcome pose? Okay, if you say so.
2. India TV was a million miles ahead of the rest. Apparently, Modi’s visit to the UK was, in fact, a blueprint to nab Dawood Ibrahim. The background music and effects tell us how serious India TV was about it. This is what the ticker said: “London mein Modi, dehshat mein Dawood.”
3. What was the most important takeaway from Modi’s speech at the British Parliament?
According to India TV, it was the long duration of the standing ovation he got from the house.
4. In an attempt to break through the clutter, Zee News focused on how Pakistani media covered the visit in a segment titled, “Modi ka naam Pakistan ko bahut sataata hai”.
5. Since it is Britain, no coverage would have been complete without the “look-at-these-imperialists” angle. With The Guardian and BBC, channels found the perfect peg. Some took it upon themselves to solve the mystery of why India’s image is being tarnished in the West. Zee News did an entire show asking, “Kya kuch log Bharat ko badnaam karne ki saazish rach rahe hain?”
6. Even ABP News joined the patriotic bandwagon and questioned British press’ right to ask questions about intolerance in India.
And then we had Sambit Patra talking about Anish Kapoor’s “Hindu Taliban” article, asserting that it said “bhadde bhadde” things about “Vishnu Ji” and that if such things were said about any other religion “toh Charlie Hebdo ho jata.”
Charlie Hebdo is the new anarth.
Having found a Gujarati policeman in the UK, this NDTV reporter claimed that he and Mr Modi have a lot in common. Because, well, they are both from Gujarat.
India Today also caught hold of the same policeman (star bangayaa yaar), and asked him if he was hoping to get a selfie with the man of the hour, to which he very obviously responded that he would be honoured to do so.
This really happened. Times Now reporter asked the Defense Secretary questions about the student visa issue. He replied by giving our (probably fresh out of J-school) reporter a tiny burn.
The IBN reporter asked a resident what she most identified India with. It’s a legit question, right? Totally legit, up until the moment the reporter tried to answer it for her with the cliché: India maneki Bollywood.
Yes, we get that anything Modi does is “epic”. But Times Now went a little overboard with the Hans Zimmer-like background score for the report.
“Pehle ise jee bhar kar dekhiye, jee bhar ke dekhiye iski chamak, jee bhar ke dekhiye iski damak, khoobsurti dekhiye…ye hai Ko-Hi-Noor, yaani Kohinoor heera.”
Yes, it is so beautiful that Modi has to bring it back, no matter what else he did in the UK. India TV did an entire show asking if Modi would be able to bring back the Kohinoor. Because Black Money is no longer an issue.
Zee News did a whole show on the possible controversies that might mar Modi’s visit to the UK. They tracked controversies and scandals that came up during Modi’s previous foreign trips as well as his meetings with foreign dignitaries back home and somehow came up with a formula for future controversies. Scientific, for sure.
13. Now we bring you some of the “dumbest journalism from UK”. Yes, that is exactly what this CNN IBN reporter said.
We sort of agree.
We all know Zee News is known for its theatrics. Here they play up the opposition’s jealousy to the level of a Hindi soap opera.
15. And how can we forget Zee News’ explosive reaction to BBC and The Guardian’s line of questioning at the press conference held for Modi and Cameron.
The Zee News anchor defended Modi by accusing the BBC: “British broadcasting Corporation ne apna pakhandi charitra samne rakh diya hai”
It’s probably because people started leaving on account of the cold.
17. And, finally, new media jumped on the “exclusive” bandwagon:
With inputs from Deeksha Khanna and Hansa Malhotra