Those who have read this column in the past would know my views on Sanjay Jha. How I think he’s the most horrible party spokespersons on news telly, etc etc. Well, I thought the same of his commentary on cricket, too — on his site cricketnext.com and on TV, but that’s an old story.
My hate for him is so much that I stay a few feet away from him when I see he’s around at a social event. I did an encore yesterday, when he was at a tea ahead of an International Advertising Association India Chapter event at the Nehru Centre.
It was a panel discussion on whether opinion polls and media reports influence the Indian voter. I kinda knew what Monsieur Jha would speak. Given that the various opinion polls and media analysts have been unkind to his party and have predicted a Narendra Modi victory, he was sure to go ballistic as he always does.
There were others on the panel moderated by stock market biggie Anand Rathi: former petroleum minister and (former?) BJP strongman Ram Naik, Saamnaa editor and Shiv Sena spokesperson Prem Shukla and veteran journalist Kumar Ketkar.
At the event, I was hopeful of catching up on some sleep, given some late nights this week. Most discussions held by industry associations are a lot of hot air, though this one was surprisingly refreshing, and moderator Rathi handled the proceedings rather well.
But, the man who I thought did a super job and even surprised me with his good manners was, hold your breath, yes hold your breath a wee bit further: the man who India loves to hate — Sanjay Jha.
There were no smirks, no sly grins and no eyebrows raised. He seemed like a nice guy. Wonder why he can’t be the same on the nightlies. Guess, that’s what television does to you.
Lights, Camera, Action... Boom, Boom, Boom. It’s showtime, folks!
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh