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Interview with Bush costs DD official job

Before US President came to India, he gave an exclusive TV interview to Doordarshan, reports NR Chaudhury.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 10:59 IST

Before US President George W. Bush came to India in early March, he gave an exclusive TV interview to Doordarshan. The interview, conducted by DD Deputy Director General (DDG) Amitabh Chakravarty, at short notice, was highly regarded. But it also cost Chakravarty his job at Doordarshan as DDG (News).

It is a measure of the national broadcaster’s professionalism (or the lack of it) that not following bureaucratic procedure before leaving for Washington cost Chakravarty his job. Government officials are expected to take the permission of their seniors before they can leave their stations.

In this case, Chakravarty was selected to go to Washington to conduct the interview. But the file did not move through the corridors of power at necessary speed. Chakravarty ended up travelling to Washington, conducting an acclaimed interview and returning to India before the file could make it to the I&B top brass. He only verbally informed his seniors.

Normally, such a lapse would have earned Chakravarty an official censure and hurt his future prospects, sources said. But since he is due to retire within a couple of years, the Minister decided to “punish but not penalise him”, and removed him from the Doordarshan job. Another Indian Information Service official, Arvind Manjit Singh, has taken charge from Chakravarty at DD.