MUMBAI: The legendary BBC journalist Tim Sebastian’s Indian show ‘The Outsider With Tim Sebastian’ takes off on news channel Bloomberg TV India on Saturday. It promises to kick up quite a storm in the corridors of Indian parliament with topics that are at the moment, acutely sensitive talking points in the country.
We have it from the crew of Sebastian’s show that in the first few episodes the doughty anchor will pose sharp questions on 3 major issues: is dynastic politics bringing India’s political system to its knees? Can India allow entrepreneurs from the world over to do legitimate business in this country? And thirdly, are women safe in India?
The question that is bound to arise at some point is, should the ‘outsider’ ask questions of which he has authoritative knowledge?
Sound designer Resul Pookutty who is working closely with Sebastian’s show protests at the seasoned British journalist being dubbed unqualified to comment on Indian matters. “Tim may call himself an outsider. But his knowledge of the Indian socio-political system is astounding. He knows the way our democracy works and is fully informed on every aspect of our culture. To therefore call him unqualified to comment on issues that trouble our body-politic is not correct.”
Tim would be doing 13 episodes on India. He may return for another season.
Says Resul, “Our show bears no resemblance to Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate. In fact I was grossly misinterpreted in an interview where I was quoted as saying that Aamir’s show was doctored. Who am I to question Aamir’s show? I’ve the highest regard for what Aamir does.”
Mortified, Resul had to explain to Aamir that he never meant to comment on his show.
“We’re doing our job on Tim Sebastian’s show.There’s no point of comparison with this show and any other. I’m totally impressed by Tim. Before shooting each episode he personally meets each of the 54 crew members. When he came to India he had a dvd of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Coincidentally I was involved with that. Tim didn’t know that,” says Resul fondly.