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HVK Archives: Hazare, Pilot fail to keep date with Priya Tendulkar for episode on corruption

Hazare, Pilot fail to keep date with Priya Tendulkar for episode on corruption - The Afternoon Despatch and Courier

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
1 February 1997

Title : Hazare, Pilot fail to keep date with Priya Tendulkar for episode on corruption
Author :
Publication : The Afternoon Despatch and Courier
Date : February 1, 1997

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare developed cold feet and failed to turn up
for the shooting of the Priya Tendulkar show at Nanavati Auditorium
yesterday. He was one of the panelists on the show's episode on corruption
along with the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Gopinath Munde, and
the former union minister of state, Mr. Rajesh Pilot.

"The crusader against corruption has failed to keep up his promise," a
visibly upset Ms. Tendulkar told the audience before the start of the show.
She also kept a chair at the stage empty as a protest and declared it so.

However, Mr. Pilot also did not make it to the show, excusing him self at the
last minute on account of "Political" emergency in Delhi. The only invitee to
be present at the show was Mr. Munde, who fielded the audience's probing
queries on corruption with confidence.

The Tendulkars, Priya and father Vijay, the anchorperson of the show, had
quick replacements for the prominent absentee duo, Mr. Hazare and Mr. Pilot.
They roped in the editor of the Hindi daily 'Navbharat Times', Mr.
Vishwanath Sachdev, and Mr. Madhav Deshpande, one of the founder-members of
the Shiv Sena and the party boss, Mr. Bal Thackeray's bete noir, to give
company to the high-profile deputy chief minister.

The show, a 45-minute weekly affair, is slated to be telecast on STAR TV from
tomorrow. The episode on corruption shot yesterday, according to Ms.
Tendulkar, is scheduled to go on air on February 16. The inaugural episode
of the talk show to be . shown tomorrow consists of a curtain raiser.
Interestingly, this would include glimpses of the controversial Kini episode
which Ms. Tendulkar had shot earlier for her talk show on Doordarshan.

To recall, the episode was dropped by the DD authorities without assigning
any reason, which led Ms. Tendulkar to take the entire show off the national
channel late last year.

Talking to this newspaper, the Tendulkars lambasted Mr. Hazare for failing to
keep up his commitment. "We contacted him a month in advance and he confirmed
the date about 18 days ago. But just this very morning, Mrs. Pushpa Bhave
called us up and said Mr. Hazare will not be able to make it due to health
reasons," said Ms. Priya Tendulkar.

However, according to Mrs. Bhave, the social worker could not turn up for the
show as he got a slip disc attack early yesterday morning. "He was in Pune
with Baba Adhav and just as he was planning to leave for Mumbai, he got the
attack. He phoned me up immediately and asked to convey this to the
Tendulkars, which I did," she said, adding that he got the attack because of
hectic travelling all these days.

The shooting was a delight to watch as Ms. Tendulkar in her characteristic
articulate and satirical style, got the audience involved in the debate on
what is unquestionably the most serious issue facing the nation today;
corruption in high places.

Mr. Sachdev and Mr. Deshpande were occasionally solicited to interrupt in
what turned out to be a verbal assault on Mr. Munde. "When in opposition, you
had promised to book Dawood Ibrahim within 100 days of coming into power. It
is close to two years now and you have done nothing, absolutely nothing," was
one of the questions. Mr. Munde also faced a volley of questions on Enron,
party funds and crime. Luckily for him though, no one in the otherwise
enlightened yet angered audience questioned Mr. Munde on the Barkha row.

Those present in the galleries also included the Juneja family from Versova.
They reiterated their allegation that Jaidev Thackeray's men had entered
their flat, a rented one, and bashed them up trying to oust them at the
behest of the owners. They charged the D. N. Nagar police of conniving with
the landlord of that flat and harassing them at his behest.

"Nobody is above the law. You come and meet me in my office on Wednesday,"
said Mr. Munde to the distraught family. The show thus went on with remarks
from a senior scribe present on corruption rampant in the journalistic world

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