Ahmedabad, April 18: For most BJP legislators, Narendra Modi is a highly inaccessible and autocratic chief minister, but for journalist M.V. Kamath he is a “very different” man — honest, straightforward and much misunderstood.
The Prasar Bharti chairman, who is all praises for the man you either love or hate but can’t ignore, has been gathering grist to write a biography of Modi. After “two long meetings” with him, Kamath says: “He has been so misrepresented by the national media that no one knows the real Modi.”
Kamath is not willing to talk about his book — a senior official in the chief minister’s office confirmed he was writing it — but he can scarce hide his appreciation of the man who has answered “all his questions” so far.
“I asked him probing questions about his personal life, politics and ideologies. I can tell you that now I have a fairly good idea of what he thinks,” he says.
The 82-year journalist continues that some of the recent books on the Gujarat riots are one-sided and the reporting on television and in newspapers “outrageous” and “anti-national”. Besides, a lot of things had been “incorrectly reported” and Modi misrepresented.
“The journalists who have written about the Gujarat riots do not understand Gujarati psyche or the socio-cultural history of the state,” he says. “(As a journalist), I’m interested to know what are the facts and what Modi has to say.”
Asked to elaborate, he says: “I’m interested to know what exactly happened and why it happened. Why the Godhra-type carnage did not take place in Chennai or Hyderabad' And why Gujarati Hindus reacted the way they reacted'”
Before he gets into the book proper, Kamath is doing his homework: studying the socio-cultural history of Gujarat, the history of communal riots in Gujarat and the rise of the Sangh parivar. The reading will help him put things in perspective, he says.