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RJ Malishka’s Interview With Olympian Neeraj Chopra Is A Crash (And Burn) Course On How Not To Interview

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In India, winning an Olympic media can get you respect from your fellow Indians. Heck, if you’re a northeast Indian, it can get you recognised as an Indian for the first time, as several celebrities reminded us about. But what you can’t get is freedom from questions about your marital status. Kyunki it doesn’t matter what metal your Olympics medal is made of, what matters in the end is whether you’re made of marriage material or not. Neeraj Chopra after making us proud at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would’ve thought he’d be asked about this incredible feat. And yet news anchor Navika Kumar wanted to use his interview to tell he world that bhai apna single hai. And as if that wasn’t outrageous enough, there’s now another interview with RJ Malishka where she doesn’t just make it cringe for us to watch, she makes it possibly mortifying for Chopra too.

Video snippets of Neeraj Chopra’s interview with RJ Malishka for Red FM have gone viral. And there are two that are particularly caring-inducing. In the first one, Malishka and her Red FM team can be seen dancing to the song ‘Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri’ from Naya Daur. The camera then pans to reveal a laptop with Neeraj Chopra on a Zoom call with them. RJ Malishka assures us that while she does have some serious questions for the Olympian, she wants to begin with this atrocity.

Twitter cringed at the video and pointed out just how not needed these shenanigans were. Almost all of them pointed out how, if the genders were reversed, this would be considered highly inappropriate. Imagine a Mirabai Chanu or a PV Sindhu being greeted like this by a bunch of male talk show hosts. Social media would skin them alive for focusing more on her physical beauty and her being a woman than on the fact that she is a sportsperson who just won such an incredible honour for the country. So what makes RJ Malishka and the team that wrote this gag think this is appropriate?

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But you know what, even with the gender argument notwithstanding, this is an Olympian, for crying out loud. Sure, it is a fact that he has becoming somewhat of a national crush because what’s not to like? But was there no better way to tell slip it in that he is a handsome man who currently the ladies are crushing on?

The second thing that RJ Malishka messed up with was when she concluding the interview and told Neeraj Chopra that she’d like to give him a ‘Jaadu Ki Jhappi’. For what joy, behen? Why is Malishka, who is usually quite funny, acting like some desperate man who spends the entire function trying to crack jokes about his affection for you?

What this has done is give all those people who want to shit on women, feminism and the #MeToo movement, ammunition. So while they will praise Neeraj Chopra for the humility, grace and patience with which he handled the entire episode, they will also find a way to abuse the interviewer’s character in some way, make the whole thing about ‘fake feminism’ and basically curse women.

Here’s a simple PSA: Please evaluate before you speak on national forums. Ask questions that are specific and not this crap. Read the room. And be mindful.

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