Television

BBC World's Nisha Pillai buoyant about covering Indian elections

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/05/10/bbc.jpg?itok=k4NPmMMq

NEW DELHI: She has interviewed Rupert Murdoch in her capacity as a business reporter and loved doing so. Doesn't have any immediate plans to switch organisations from her present stint at Beebs. And she is pretty excited to cover the Indian elections, live that is, for BBC World, which is having a special coverage session for the great democratic 'tamasha', er, process, that would culminate with the results being declared on 13 May and the unfolding of new political arithmetic.

But for Nisha Pillai it is all part of the game even if she has "to do some quick calculations" that Indian politics could throw up as emerging trends throughout Thursday unravel "various possible permutations and combinations." After all, she went on air in a certain year on 11 September on BBC World "without a script trying to make sense of everything" as very few had early clues of what was happening and would happen.

Compared to that, probably, Indian politics could be slightly more predictable.

"When the election coverage was planned in January-February, the plan was to bring extensive routine coverage, but as things are unfolding, it has turned out to be a nail biter (of an election)," Pillai says, sitting relaxed in an all-white chic cotton outfit in Beebs Delhi bureau. The traces of long distance traveling, from London to Delhi, if any, have evaporated.

After having touched down in Delhi, Pillai has been busy preparing for the live coverage over the next two days by interacting with the local bureau and journalists who have traveled the length and breadth of the country covering the general elections, spread over two months, from all possible sides, including BBC World's global perspective of having Americans speak on the Indian elections.

"With the type of rumours swirling around in Delhi at the moment (the meeting with indiantelevision.com happened on 12 May), it is really fascinating," Pillai says, pointing out that her interaction with the local bureau would prove helpful when she goes on air trying to make some sense of the unfolding scenario.

Though it may not be a situation similar to the 9/11 coverage, but Pillai wants to be as much prepared as possible.

Does she find any similarity between the Indian elections and those back home in the UK? Years of being on television (Pillai joined BBC World in 1995), some of which has been live broadcast, has taught Pillai to be a bit tactful. She avoids a direct reply to the query, but helpfully adds that the relationship between British prime minister Tony Blair and his colleague Brown has "uncanny parallels" to the relationship between Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his colleague and deputy prime minister, LK Advani.

Even if the references to the future of Advani are oblique, the political astuteness of Pillai cannot go amiss.

However, Pillai finds that the dance of democracy in India and the way it has been conducted this time round is a lesson for other developed nations, especially the other big democracy, the United States.

"The use of EVMs (electronic voting machines) is fascinating and a lesson for the US," Pillai says, adding, "A Third World country (dubbing India a developing nation would have been more politically correct, may be) is conducting elections through electronic machines, while the US doesn't even have an election regulator."

Would Pillai hazard a guess on the outcome of the polls held recently? "No way," she laughs aloud, "I am not making any statements on the outcome." But, Pillai thinks that her arithmetic is "pretty good", which would help her do quick mental calculations on air as election results come in thick and fast. May be, Pillai's first job as a graduate trainee at Schroders Investment Bank has helped in honing this talent with vital stats.

On broader issues, Pillai feels that the Indian broadcasting scenario is "very competitive." She adds, "I am not so sure whether the print medium has transformed so much, but the broadcasting scene is fantastic and very competitive by global standards as in most issues like graphics, the standard is very high."

But ask Pillai, how would she describe the Indian elections and she comes up with an apt summation, "It's a great 'tamasha', but is also fascinating as Indians, by and large, are obsessed with politics."

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/colorscineplex.jpg?itok=J3tyOiMX
Colors Cineplex to premiere Road Safety World Series on 7 March

MUMBAI: Colors Cineplex and VOOT is all set to bring Unacademy Road Safety Word Series.  The matches will be played in T20 format between India, Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and South Africa starting 7 March to 22 March 2020 in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune and will stream live on Colors...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/cnbc.jpg?itok=x8f0feVO
CNBC-TV18 announces fifteenth edition of India Business Leader Awards

MUMBAI: Network18’s English business news channel CNBC-TV18 is all set to launch the fifteenth edition of India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) under the theme of the event ‘Leaders of Change’. The objective of IBLA is to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the country’s most dynamic business...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/ipl.jpg?itok=U_Qkyviv
Star Sports launches #KhelBolega campaign around IPL 2020

MUMBAI: Amid the heightened social media chatter within fans, Star Sports along with the Board of Cricket Council of India launched Khel Bolega, a television commercial (TVC) ahead of IPL 2020. Khel Bolega indicates that the coming season will clearly end the response to all the chatter (#BolBakar...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/kids.jpg?itok=gU0SgZXK
Mumbai got outdoors at the year's premier festival curated for kids

24th February 2020 Mumbai:  India’s largest festival for kids, Nickelodeon Windmill Festival, an initiative by Event Capital and Tribe Asia aimed at providing a wholesome experience for toddlers, pre-teens and parents which took place on 22nd and 23rd February 2020 at JioWorld Garden, BKC. The...

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/abp.jpg?itok=ntSTl0Za
Jeetega India: ABP News curates special programming for Olympics 2020

MUMBAI: ABP News Network’s Hindi news channel ABP News has launched a special programme ‘Jeetega India’ for Tokyo Olympics 2020. It’s a special show that intends to cover every single aspect of the athletic event. Focusing on to promote sports in India, ‘Jeetega India’ will have a 360-degree...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/panipat.jpg?itok=54emoCoT
Zee Cinema to air World Television Premiere of ‘Panipat’ on 29 February

MUMBAI: Known for their commitment towards their ‘Dharm’ and ‘Karm’, the Marathas have been referred to as protectors and not fighters. They were not just ferocious fighters safeguarding their motherland but also ethical warriors with a simple code of honor. Director Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/26/regional.jpg?itok=zaBmI-wv
Zee Telugu to launch ‘Trinayani’ on 2 March

MUMBAI: Zee Telugu strengthens its primetime offering with a new fantasy drama Trinayani. An impeccable fiction tale, Trinayani highlights the life of a seer, who can foresee the future and the past. Produced by Annapurna Studios, the epic one-of-its-kind fictional drama will go on-air starting 2...

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/25/ndtv.jpg?itok=k3PS9eAF
SAT further stays SEBI's impugned order against NDTV till next hearing

MUMBAI: The Securities Appellate Tribunal has further extended the relief to New Delhi Television news channel’s promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, against the impugned order of the Securities and Exchange Board of India till next hearing. According to a BSE filing of the NDTV, “The Securities...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/25/all.jpg?itok=YvT2CY1Y
Sony Entertainment Television’s India’s Best Dancer to premiere on 29 February

After the roaring success of Super Dancer – a dance reality platform for kids, Sony Entertainment Television will launch India’s Best Dancer, a platform for dancers between the age group of 15 – 30 years on 29 Febraury.

Television TV Channels Viewership

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required