Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter has said it was warned by the Indian envoy that the President Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed state visit to Sweden may be cancelled if it did not retract the remarks he made on the Bofors scandal during an interview.
But the daily refused to retract Mukherjee’s remarks on the Bofors and instead carried the interview in full. Dagens Nyheter editor-in-chief Peter Wolodarski, who conducted the interview in Delhi, regretted the alleged remarks of Indian ambassador Banashri Bose Harrison.
Video and audio of the interview posted on the newspaper’s website featured Mukherjee as saying that the Bofors arms scandal of the 1980s was more of a “media trial” because none of the charges had been proved in any Indian court. His remarks were widely reported by the Indian media.
“In a telephone conversation with DN (Dagens Nyheter) prior to the publication of the article, the Ambassador made a direct request that DN was to retract sections of the interview mentioning Bofors. She also warned that the planned state visit was at risk of being cancelled,” said a report posted on the daily’s website.
Further, the Dagens Nyheter report said the Mukherjee’s interview had created a crisis of sorts. On Tuesday, Dagens Nyheter received an official letter from the Indian envoy in which she expressed “disappointment” at the interview. She said the daily neglected to show the President the “courtesy and respect” he deserved as a head of state.
“I find the Ambassador’s reaction regretful. It is surprising that someone representing the world’s largest democracy is trying to micromanage which questions we should ask a head of state, and which answers should be published,” said Wolodarski.