On December 8, 2014, journalist Vrinda Gopinath came to interview me about the performance of the Modi government and the controversy around Smriti Irani’s appointment as HRD minister.
I told her it was too early to come to a firm conclusion about Modi as PM but as far as appointment of Smriti Irani is concerned, I have not changed my opinion one bit about it being a disastrous choice. And my opinion was shared by a large number of people within the BJP.
Vrinda asked me if I had any explanation as to why Modi made that choice.
My response was if I could find a reasonable explanation, I would not have been so shocked. She then began hazarding her guesses and asked me if such and rumour about Irani was the likely reason. I said, it doesn’t sound credible to me. She then put forward a couple of other explanations like, “Is it his arrogance? He thinks he can get away with anything, even a useless puppet.”
My answer was the same that they don’t sound satisfactory to me. She persisted and said, “But there has to be some explanation!”
My answer was that none of the likely reasons she had offered appear convincing to me and then I added in a light note, more in jest than venturing an explanation or hazarding a guess “May be occupying the PM’s office has disoriented him or may be someone has done black magic on him.”
It was my way of saying that like many others, I can’t make sense of his choice of such an unsuitable person to head the most crucial ministry. But next day when the interview appeared on a web portal, the light hearted dismissive comment about “black magic” was used as a banner headline.
I am sure discerning readers will read the line about "black magic" in the spirit it was intended and not be swayed by the sensationalist intent of the editors of the website.