Scribes of the time recorded the Vedic age as one of great progress, and we now have the Vaidik Age in which another scribe shows us great progress in journalism; where an international scoop goes unprinted and yet the scribe in question, Ved Pratap Vaidik, still makes headlines. His interview with terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed is still to see the light of day, but portions of it have been leaked by the ISI. Here are unofficial excerpts:
Saeed: Welcome to my humble, charitable, philanthropic abode. I have been told you are a very important man.
Vaidik: Yes, in our country, I am called a VIP. I’m sure you have them here too.
Saeed: All the VIPs we have are from your country — Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Yasin Bhatkal…
Vaidik: I am here to change your thinking and put you on a different track.
Saeed: Is this Track II diplomacy?
Vaidik: You can say that if you go by my track record. I am a famous journalist, which is why the Pakistan media is chasing me for interviews. I am also close to the powers that be, so there are two tracks.
Saeed: You are interviewing me without a tape recorder or notebook, so which track are you on today? I am just doing philanthropy. Which reminds me, have some biryani…
Vaidik: I am not here for biryani diplomacy. I stayed back to meet you and try and change your approach. Have you tried yoga? My mentor Baba Ramdev is as famous as me and he also acts on behalf of the powers that be, but yoga can do wonders for people who have strayed. I call it the Vaidik posture — you wear a red vest and put egg on your face. It makes you oblivious to criticism.
Saeed: My mentors told me to answer your questions since it would give me a platform and change my image. What is your question?
Vaidik: How many wives do you have? You see, if you are projected as a man with many wives, it sends a positive signal. Anyone who can keep three wives happy must have some done some good in his past life. In India, you are seen as a terror mastermind.
Saeed: That is my past life when I was minding my masters. The Pakistan courts have cleared me, the ISI has backed me, the Pakistan government needs me. I am just a harmless social worker.
Vaidik: And I am just a journalist. But your attitude to India is well known.
Saeed: I embrace Indians, all those who come to me for help, from Kashmir, from Punjab. This is JuD, a training ground for people who need some purpose and direction in their lives. I point them in the right direction, across the LoC.
Vaidik: We now have a strong leader who is not afraid to call a spade a spade, or have a heart to heart with your Prime Minister. He is a true diamond. In case he decides to visit Pakistan, I hope you will not create any problems.
Saeed: I have no problems, as long as you invite me to India. So far, I have been sponsoring lots of people for visits to India, sometimes even by sea, but it would be nice to be officially invited to your country. You say you are close to Narendra Modi, maybe you can help.
Vaidik: He may not be so happy with me after this.
Saeed: Why is that?
Vaidik: He has been attending a summit with world leaders. I am here with you, and I will have made more headlines than him.