How should readers, viewers and journalists interpret the sudden ending of a scheduled interview and the interviewee’s midway departure, in the face of uncomfortable questions posed by the interviewer?
There are two possible ways in which people could look at the situation at hand. And this, in turn, depends upon two factors: the gravitas of the questions asked and the sincerity of the journalist.
While it is possible that the questions posed were either sensational or inconsequential leading to the interviewee’s frustration and her/his inadvertent departure, it is also possible that the questions posed were so blunt and to the point that the inability of the interviewee to come up with the correct answer forced her/him to flee.
Newslaundry had scheduled an interview with senior RSS functionary and Muslim Rashtriya Manch chief Indresh Kumar on Wednesday, July 12. The interview began at the scheduled time. By the third question of the interview, things got a little out of hand. The question asked was, “Why was cow vigilantism being used as a tool to impose one’s personal beliefs onto those of the others?”
In response, the senior RSS leader gave several arguments to support his claims about the significance of protecting cows and its value to the world’s religious order. But, alas, the senior leader had little time for rebuttals. But before we get there, let’s look at some of his arguments. Kumar said:
1. About 90 of the world’s population survives on cow milk.
2. Unlike other living beings who produce toxins as a byproduct of the food they consume, the cow is the only animal capable of assimilating all toxins into life-nurturing products. Citing examples, Kumar said while the cow’s milk was consumable, its dung was rich in energy and its exhaled breath contained oxygen.
3. It is only the cow’s meat that isn’t just referred to as meat but is rather known as ghosht (meat) or beef, while everything else is categorised as meat only. And the reason behind such nomenclature, according to Kumar’s logic, is the poisonous nature of the cow’s meat.
4. There is a huge difference between meat and ghosht (meat). Prophet Mohammad had said cow milk is life’s elixir but its meat is poisonous. This is why those who consume meat are in contempt of Islamic principles.
Kumar went on an incessant monologue as he shared his views on the matter, leaving no room for questions or clarifications. Nevertheless, when he was asked about the scientific basis of his claims, the vexed Kumar asked for the discontinuation of the interview. All attempts to appease him were in vain. The events following his outburst were more dramatic than one would expect.
It is only fair that you watch the interview and take a call on the authenticity of this senior RSS leader’s claims—who dislikes being questioned and would rather run to save face.
The author can be contacted on Twitter @BeechBazar.