Friday, December 28, 2007

Flashback to an Assassination

David recalls flashback to the death of another giant in Asian regional politics, PM of India Rajiv Gandhi, 21 May 1991, whilst working for the UK's largest Asian programme.

I can't remember the precise time; I should really, but I remember it was time for us to wrap up the programme.

And then word came in from one of the production assistants that Rajiv Gandhi had just been assassinated: 21 May 1991.

It was a hard thought to swallow.

But we stopped and looked at each other.

Mike a popular presenter of Indian music, Deepak and a few others held their breath.

And then it was confirmed.

BBC Radio Leicester with one of the biggest Asian audiences back then would be demanding we filled the news, but the main newsroom was away; it was past 6 O'clock and the skeleton staff behind had never managed a rolling news programme.

On that day we pulled out all the stops, tempered by staff getting emotional, but being professional.

One interview followed another; the next shift presenter carried the prog and so on.

At times like this of course its about the person, (Bhutto) the family, the bereaved and so on.

But as I listened to the news waking today, I caught that feeling in the pit of my stomach, how another suicide many years ago had called on people to rise to the height of professionalism and deliver fact and sturdy commentary to at least help ease some of the confusion to the what and why, even though nothing makes sense at all

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