Journalism on wheels

To provide an insight into the exhaustive electoral exercise in the world’s largest democracy, the BBC’s India Election Train was flagged off from Safdarjung Station here on Saturday.

Carrying a team of journalists working for its services in English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Bengali besides Burmese, Swahili, Arabic and other foreign languages, the BBC will investigate stories and take a look at personalities behind the Lok Sabha po lls. Its mission is to explore how the Indian economy can resuscitate the global economy during recession.

Countrywide journey

Travelling from Delhi to Ahmedabad and then moving on to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Patna and Allahabad before returning here, the team during its three-week journey will focus on whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been able to change his image post-Godhra, e-governance and marginalisation in Hyderabad, the influence of Maoist insurgents in Bhubaneswar, caste wars and organised crimes in politics in Patna and Allahabad.

Leading the team, BBC World News Assignment Editor Mark Perrow said he developed a love for India while he was posted to Delhi alongside the legendary British journalist Mark Tully.

“I am thrilled to be back in India and will have to update myself as to how much your country has changed. India has a proud tradition of robust democratic debate and open campaigning. The real difference between Indian electioneering and the British one is in terms of colour and vivacity. The scale of enterprise across the vast country and the campaigning and voting is a huge exercise. People in the U.K. are impressed with how democracy functions here.”

Proper perspective

Asserting that British journalists cannot give a perspective of a multi-lingual and multi-cultural country like India sitting in Delhi or Mumbai, Mr. Perrow said the Indian political scene with its regional parties cannot be reflected properly unless one journeys across the country.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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