New Delhi, Nov 9: It was expected to be a busy night and all journalists left their offices with the mindset that they would either cover or watch the US presidential elections.
When almost all were speaking about whether it would Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, an announcement came from the office of the Prime Minister. It said that the PM will address the nation.
Among journalists the talk was the announcement would either be defence or black money related. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi began speaking, it became clear that the announcement would be a big one. Then it came- Modi announced that Rs 500 and 1,000 notes would be declared invalid from the mignight of Tuesday.
Frantic calls were made to all reporters and those on the desk, to bring down the US election live page and focus only on this story. Suddenly none were interested in the US elections. People called in and also tuned into their television sets to find out what the effect of this announcement would be.
None were even speaking about the US elections and the entire focus was on the Rs 500 and 1,000 notes. One would have thought that the US election would take centre stage in India at least the next day in the morning. However that was not to be. People were more interested in knowing where they could exchange their currency, whether hospitals were accepting the notes etc.
In the midst of it all came a call from a fellow journalist. Modiji knows how to do it. He made the announcement at such a time and the entire country's focus shifted away from the US elections. That is Modi for you, he said before putting the phone down.