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Representative image

A bully makes you no statesman, bro

Reporters had the liberty to question their leaders, who were open and respectful enough to answer them as well.

CHENNAI: There used be a golden period of cordial relationships between journalists and politicians. Reporters had the liberty to question their leaders, who were open and respectful enough to answer them as well. If the question made them uncomfortable or irritable, they’d say ‘No Comments’ and gracefully move on to the next query.

However, the scenario and structure of journalism is markedly different now, thanks to the arrival of social media and YouTubers. While it’s wise to accept and adapt to changes, the chasm between politicians and journalists widens a great deal when the number of reporters is inversely proportional to the number of leaders.

The recent presser of Naam Tamilar Katchi president Seeman shows how current politicians respond to scribes. The mercurial leader growled and questioned the mental health of the reporter by calling him mad or mentally retarded.

That was despicable in any context! While seasoned politicians from the ruling and opposition parties treat journalists with dignity, it was uncalled for a rising politician to go on a verbal diatribe on a scribe for merely for asking a question.

Of course, being in public life is not a cakewalk. But one compliments and brickbats are the norm, and a public personality like a politician must be able withstand criticism and answer tough questions from all corners. This could help Seeman emerge as a statesman while others faded out.

Even if he didn’t want to answer, there’s a way to handle the situation, and it did not involve bullying scribes.

— M Manikandan, Chennai

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