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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 00:28 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 00:28 | SYDNEY

India: Two interviews

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18 November 2009 14:29

Last Friday I conducted interviews with two of India's most senior print journalists, Indrani Bagchi and Pramit Pal Chaudhuri. As becomes clear when you listen to the audio, they happen to be married to each other, and they made themselves available during their Sydney holiday. My thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for hosting lunch, during which we heard our guests' views.

First I talked with Indrani Bagchi, Diplomatic Editor for The Times of India. She talks about the explosive growth of the Indian media (15% a year for the major newspapers!), and the alarming decline of Pakistan, playing host to what Bagchi calls a 'full blown jihad'.

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is Foreign Editor of The Hindustan Times, and although I started by asking him a similar opening question, the interview quickly took a very different turn. Chaudhuri emphasised the importance of military cooperation in the Australia-India relationship. He dismisses the student issue, and says uranium only matters in the symbolic sense — as happened with the US and its nuclear deal with India, a change in Australian policy on uranium exports would signal that the relationship has taken a definitive turn.

Chaudhuri's thoughts on Copenhagen are fascinating. He says there is zero popular or political pressure in India for a climate deal, even from the greens, who would see any cap on Indian emissions as an escape clause for the West's carbon profligacy.

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