Walk the Talk: Decoding Politicians

by Shekhar Gupta

  • Category Politics
  • Format Paperback
  • Imprint Rupa
  • Price 595
  1. ISBN: 978-8129147684
  2. Pages: 368 pages
  3. Date: 15 September 2017


In the fourteen years of NDTV’s Walk The Talk Shekhar Gupta has interviewed more than 600 stellar guests—an outstanding feature for one of Indian TV news channel’s most respected shows is the wide diversity of its guests. These range from heads of states to national, regional and international politicians and public figures, from Indian and global film stars to Nobel Laureates, scientists, economists, sports stars (not limited to cricket), spiritual gurus, business tycoons, philanthropists and, of course, activists. This book focuses exclusively on political leaders and public figures.

Many of these conversations are path-breaking and some extremely rare. For example, leaders like Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao have never before engaged in freewheeling, recorded conversations in such detail. Others have broken new ground since—Narendra Modi, L.K. Advani, Pranab Mukherjee, Mayawati and even M. Karunanidhi. There are also global thought leaders and heads of state: David Cameron, Henry Kissinger and Pushp Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, among others. There is also the rarest of rare interviews with the former RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan.

It was challenging to choose just twenty-five political personalities and voices to feature in this selection. And one criterion has been to try and pick those conversations that mark political shifts and change. Hopefully, these will help provide an understanding of recent political history and how we have reached the point we are at today, in the words of these very significant and interesting people.


Shekhar Gupta built his name, byline and reputation over three decades of seminal reporting from the political and social frontlines of a changing India for print publications. He added television to his portfolio at the peak of his career as the Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express. Just as his print byline is today synonymous with unparalleled credibility, independence and influence, his work on TV—both commentary and interviewing—reflects the same attributes. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2009, India’s third highest civilian honour, Gupta is the Founder Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Print, India’s newest media start-up. He also writes a widely acknowledged weekly column ‘National Interest’. While Gupta became a familiar face on NDTV early on as a talking head, Walk The Talk was his first regular TV show. Sure enough, it’s developed a style and tenor of its own. In times of noisy name-calling and finger pointing that mostly passes off for TV interviewing, it developed a new concept of intelligent, mature conversation, where the guest is shown respect. That this old-fashioned and contrarian method has proved to be robust, interesting and successful is evident in the fact that Walk The Talk has continued uninterrupted in its fourteenth year. Before turning entrepreneur and launching his media venture, The Print, Gupta worked for The Indian EXPRESS in two spells of six and nineteen years respectively, with a twelve-year stint at India Today magazine in between. A familiar face at significant public discussions and events and a sought-after public speaker, Gupta is the author of Assam: A Valley Divided (1984), India Redefines its Role (1995) and Anticipating India: The Best of National Interest (2014). Shekhar lives in Delhi and, yes, in real life as on Walk The Talk, you will almost always see him with his shirt-sleeves rolled up unless it is too cold to do so.

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