The other day, Ravish Kumar in his weekdays debate programme NDTV Prime Time, was anchoring a serious debate about electricity prices in Delhi. India’s renowned energy expert, Narendra Taneja was on the panel. Other panelists included the politicians from AAP, Congress and BJP. At the very start of the discussion, Ravish Kumar made a disclosure that he had to Google for information on Electricity situation in India, as he’s not an expert on the matter. Interesting still, he kept on interrupting Narendra Taneja, every time Mr. Taneja wanted to share something useful. I’ve seen Narendra Taneja on Doordarshan News panel discussions, and he’s an expert on energy matters. He has a great of way of explaining energy topics as well.
Ravish Kumar started anchoring NDTV Prime Time more than an year ago. Initially, he conducted some very useful discussions. But in recent times, his tendency to speak at the cost of the panelists has taken alarming proportions. To the extent that the NDTV Prime Time has become a cacophony sort of, where the most interrupting member is the anchor himself. Not surprisingly, the NDTV Prime Time has become less useful to the viewers. If the anchor, doesn’t allow the panelists to spaek, that too the experts; then what is the use of watching such a debate.
The correct way to conduct any panel discussion is to allow and encourage panelists to speak for a fixed quota of time without any interruption. In that way, the viewers get to know the views of the panelists. In that way, the viewers are enriched by the expertise of a panelists (if an expert happens to be in the panel). In no way, the over confidence of the anchor or his desire to give a certain direction to the discussion, discourage panelists from speaking. This is exactly happening to NDTV Prime Time. Remember, you don’t need to speak all the time to show your wisdom. The virtue of having a patient ear is a mark of wisdom as well.