Tag Archives: Arnab Goswami

Statement condemning the attack on Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj

​​We the undersigned wish to place on record our utter disgust, contempt and outrage at the latest in the series of machinations by Republic TV, working to its brief as a propagandist for the ongoing crusade against all those who take public stands in defence of democracy, secularism, human rights, Constitutional propriety and rule of law.

Republic TV’s latest target is Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, National Secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Vice President of the Indian Association of Progressive Lawyers and Visiting Professor at the National Law University Delhi. She is widely-known for her three decades of work as a trade unionist, human rights defender, environmental lawyer and a respected advisor to several state institutions including the state legal aid bodies and the National Human Rights Commission. Continue reading Statement condemning the attack on Advocate Sudha Bhardwaj

Jignesh Mevani, The Meltdown of Modi-Men and Dadhichi’s Bones

[ This post is based on updates posted by me on my Facebook wall ]

Jignesh Mevani. Photograph by Siddharaj Solanki, HT (Hindustan Times) File Photo, accessed from the HT website

A great kerfuffle has ensued ever since the recently elected independent MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat and Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch activist Jignesh Mevani gave an interview in which he had some choice things to say about the Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi. Mr. Mevani made some positive and gentle suggestions, to the effect that because Mr. Modi has stopped being relevant, has not delivered on even one of the promises made by him, he should retire, proceed towards the Himalayas, and in the phrase that has caused the greatest commotion, ‘melt his bones’.

Predictably, Mr. Modi’s personal broadcasting service, known as Republic TV has kicked up the greatest fuss. Arnab Goswami has been especially indignant, and he was joined in his rage by BJP spokesperson, the orotund television commentator and historical photo-shop scam artist, Mr. Sambit Patra. Mr. Mevani offered a robust and dignified  refusal to apologize for what he said about Mr. Modi, when Republic TV demanded that he do so. Continue reading Jignesh Mevani, The Meltdown of Modi-Men and Dadhichi’s Bones

Boycott Republic TV – the hounding of S. P. Udayakumar

Is it not time for this channel that sets new lows with each programme, to be totally boycotted by all right-thinking people?

Don’t watch Republic TV, don’t participate in its programmes.

Dr SP Udayakumar’s complaint to the Press Council of India follows. He is
Coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and
Pachai Tamizhagam Katchi (Green Tamil Nadu Party)

June 21, 2017

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad
The Chairman, Press Council of India

Dear Sir:

Greetings! I write to bring your kind attention to the ongoing deceit and harassment of me and my family by Mr. Arnab Ranjan Goswami and a few of his colleagues such as Shweta and Sanjeev from the Republic TV.

On April 8, 2017, one “Shweta Sharma” (I later found out that her real name was Shweta Kothari) came to my home at Nagercoil and introduced herself as a “research scholar” from the Cardiff University in the UK. She asked for my help with her dissertation research. She had been accompanied by her “local friend” Sanjeev. I gave her several books and answered her questions.

On April 9, 2017 she requested me to stop by her hotel room as she had a few more questions. There she told me that “one of her British professors” was very keen on supporting our struggle against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. I told her that we did not accept money from foreigners and our movement had no bank account also. She then asked me if there was any other way of donating money to us. I told her that my personal account was frozen and that even our party account could not receive foreign funds.

The Anti-Democratic ‘Republic’: Bobby Kunhu

Guest post by BOBBY KUNHU

English language television news in India nowadays is nothing more than exaggerated visual editorials. They pick two or three stories, sensationalize them, run them in a loop through the day, alongside panel discussions where the editorial ideology of the channel is forced down the throat of the panelists and the viewers. In short there is hardly little journalism left in these channels. Though they do have panel discussions, regional language channels – at least Malayalam and Tamil channels that I watch – have a wider and more diverse reportage than self-proclaimed national television.

It wasn’t always like this. When Prannoy Roy pioneered private television content for Murdoch – regardless of the ideological content – there was reportage. Editorial proselytizing and endless panel discussions were limited most often to when psephologists stepped in.

Continue reading The Anti-Democratic ‘Republic’: Bobby Kunhu

In the Name of the ‘Nation’: Vidya K. Subramanian and C. J. Kuncheria

This is a guest post by VIDYA K S and C J KUNCHERIA

“Don’t you dare speak over me when I am speaking of Lance Naik Hanumanthapa! We’re proud of him and we’re ashamed of you!,” screamed Arnab Goswami at Umar Khalid, the JNU student at the centre of unfolding events at the university. Hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed nationalists cheered at that instant, and many more did as the clip went viral over social media. The death of the soldier, one of the 869 who have been killed in the last four years by the punishing weather on Siachen, had been conveniently used to invoke a cathartic nationalism. Continue reading In the Name of the ‘Nation’: Vidya K. Subramanian and C. J. Kuncheria

A Solicitous Enquiry after the Mental Health of Arnab Goswami

Arnab,

I am wondering if all has been going well with you. I saw your show on television the other night and you were shouting at a young man who has now been accused of sedition because of a meeting he attended on his college campus. In this show you shouted this young man down, did not let him speak, turned off his mike while he struggled to make himself heard. You called him a terrorist. You said people like him are dangerous elements and wondered who was funding him. You told him he should be grateful for things that India has apparently given him and others like him. You even had a tweet for the purpose #FlashpointAfzal. We will not go into the extraordinary idiocy you displayed in your own version of what you are pleased to call an ‘argument’. It seems in the world you inhabit, and people like you inhabit, the nation is a god-given entity before the idea of which we must all lie prostrate in quaking terrified adulation. But leave all this aside for now, you are not a very intelligent man and your stupidity, dangerous though it is, is not my concern here.

What concerns me though is your style: you are a bully and a brute.  It may seem a strange thing to say, that it is how you say things more than the things you say that seem to bother me. Let me try and explain why and hopefully once I am done you will see that the things you say are not separate from how you say them. So, a few questions:

Did you even see the young man, Umar Khalid, in front of you? What did you see Arnab? Because you certainly didn’t see what I saw.

Continue reading A Solicitous Enquiry after the Mental Health of Arnab Goswami

Media and the Death of Democracy: Nissim Mannathukkaren

Guest Post by NISSIM MANNATHUKKAREN

We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning—Jean Baudrillard

Recently, there has been an outpouring of scathing critique against Arnab Goswami and his television programme, The Newshour in some sections of the English-language Press. One magazine cover story called him, “The Man Who Killed TV News.” The immediate context of this critique is Goswami’s branding of some prominent ecological and political activists as “anti-national” and his calling for a ban on the Nirbahaya documentary and legal action against a competing channel which was supposed to be air the documentary. This unprecedented and shockingly ironic position against free speech by a leading media personality was rightfully termed by a critic “as low as a journalist can sink.”

While these criticisms of the “murderous rage” evoked by Goswami draped in the nationalist tri-colour every night and the punishment he metes out to his opponents in a “medieval-style kangaroo court,” also known as an “open debate,” are entirely apt and necessary, they also miss the forest for the trees. Goswami is only a symptom of the post-liberalization corporatized and privatized media landscape of India. If Goswami did not exist, he would have been created. It is not Goswami alone who has killed news, it is the vast majority of the media, especially, television that has done so. What is more obscene than Goswami’s execrable theatrics is how he is deeply enmeshed in the structures of capital and power that he seemingly rails against every night. These structures have not just enmeshed him, but the others as well who are aghast at his aesthetics (or the lack of it).  Continue reading Media and the Death of Democracy: Nissim Mannathukkaren

Zehn ki Loot – The Plunder of Reason in a Times Now TV Studio: Kavita Krishnan

Guest Post by Kavita Krishnan

“Phool shaakhon pe khilne lagey” tum kaho,
“Jaam rindon ko milne lagey” tum kaho,
“Chaak seenon kay silne lagey” tum kaho,
Iss khule jhooth ko,
Zehn ki loot ko,
Main nahin maanta,
Main nahin jaanta

“Branches are abloom with flowers” you say!

“The thirsty have got to drink” you say!

“Wounds of the heart are being sewn” you say!

This open lie…

A plunder of reason…

I shall not accept!

I shall not recognise!

(Habeeb Jalib, translated by Ghazala Jamil)

In Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Petrucchio declares the noontime sun to be the moon: “I say it is the moon,” to test his wife’s loyalty and obedience. As long as she stands by her reason and asserts “I know it is the sun”, she continues to be a ‘shrew’. Only when she consents to ‘zehn ki loot’ (plunder of reason), when she agrees to subordinate her own reason to the whim and diktat of her husband, and deny the self-evident truth, does she achieve approval as a suitable wife.

We, the people of India, are being similarly tamed of our ‘shrewish’ behaviour, with propaganda and public shaming in TV studios accomplishing the ‘zehn ki loot’. It is a process that seeks to bully us into declaring that the sun is the moon, that night is day, that ‘khula jhooth’ (open lie) is in fact the only truth. Refuse to part with your reason, and you are chastised for ‘bad behaviour’.

I would like to revisit the #GovtVsNGO News Hour show on Times Now, on 17th February, as a particularly glaring instance (Activism or Anti-nationalism, Parts 1 and 2 )

The topic of the show was the Government of India’s decision to deplane a Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai from a London-bound flight, because she was planning to depose before British MPs about the violation of India’s forest rights laws by a British mining company, Essar, in Mahan in Madhya Pradesh.

Continue reading Zehn ki Loot – The Plunder of Reason in a Times Now TV Studio: Kavita Krishnan

Tehelka, Jhatka and now Tamasha:Satya Sagar

Guest post by Satya Sagar

Eight years ago I remember listening to Tarun Tejpal in Bangalore as he held forth on how the news media could change the world for the better. It was a gathering of journalism students from Catholic institutions around the country and Tejpal was impressive in his defense of media freedoms.

He was passionate, charismatic, extremely articulate and as Chief Editor of Tehelka- with some of the best stories of Indian journalism behind them- very credible too. After his speech Tejpal left in a hurry, like a star priest dashing off to his next flaming sermon and fawning audience. Continue reading Tehelka, Jhatka and now Tamasha:Satya Sagar

WikiLeaks, Azadi and Arnab Goswami: Monobina Gupta

Guest post by MONOBINA GUPTA

This Friday Dean Baquet, Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Times defended his paper’s publishing of explosive information gathered by WikiLeaks, putting the US intelligence and the military establishment squarely in the dock for the Iraq war. The largest ever classified military leak in history, the WikiLeaks revelations have exposed the complicity of the US military and civil administration in whittling down the number of civilian deaths/casualties as well as ignoring hard information about the torture of US soldiers in the hands of Iraqi forces.

Baquet said that his paper worked on stories culled from nearly 4,00,0000 documents furnished by WikiLeaks as “it would any other journalistic project.” He also pointed out that it is not often that reporters get to scrutinize documents testifying to the largest US intelligence leak ever.

Continue reading WikiLeaks, Azadi and Arnab Goswami: Monobina Gupta

Azadi: The Only Way – Report from a Turbulent Few Hours in Delhi

Dear Friends,

I was present and speaking a few hours ago at a meeting titled ‘Azadi: The Only Way’ on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners at the Little Theatre Group in Delhi yesterday (21st October). I was not present from the beginning of the meeting as I was traveling from another city, but can vouch for what occurred from around 4:30 pm till the time that the meeting wound up, well after 8:00 pm in the evening.

The meeting took place in the packed to capacity auditorium of the Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg at the heart of New Delhi. Several speakers, including the poet Varavara Rao, Prof. Mihir Bhattacharya, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Mr. Shivnandan (?) an activist from Jammu, Professor G.N.Saibaba, Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain – Professor of Law, Srinagar University, the journalist Najeeb Mubaraki, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, the writer Arundhati Roy and myself spoke at the meeting. (I may be missing out some names, for which I apologize, but I was not present for a part of the meeting, at the very beginning) The climax of the meeting was a very substantive and significant speech by Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference (G), which spelt out the vision of liberation (Azaadi) and Justice that Syed Ali Shah Geelani held out before the assembled public, of which I will write in detail later in this text.

Continue reading Azadi: The Only Way – Report from a Turbulent Few Hours in Delhi

The Day After the Judgement

So now that we have one group of criminals less to deal with, I have a proposal: Criminalize English TV news channels.

'Debate,' the Times Now way
‘Debate,’ the Times Now way

Watching Times Now yesterday after the Delhi High Court ruling on Section 377, I was overcome by a growing sense of bewilderment. I could hear Dominic Emmanuel (Director of the Delhi Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church) and Kamal Farooqui (Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission), saying quite cearly and more than once, to my surprise, that they welcome the decriminalization of homosexuality, that homosexuals should not be treated as if they were criminals. Okay, correct that – I could barely hear these statements over the insistent, aggressive and disruptive interruptions  of the anchor Arnab Goswami, who had obviously pre-set this “discussion” rigidly as a face-off between Reactionary Clerics/Minorities and Gay Rights Activists, while he himself was super hero, Anchorman. So each time they said “we welcome” etc.,  Anchorman would swoop in, bellowing, “So are you saying that they dont have rights, Sir, are you saying they should not have rights. Over to Anjali Gopalan (Naz) – Anjali, they say homosexuals should not have rights, what do you say?”

Continue reading The Day After the Judgement

Exclusive TV tamasha at Ashoka Road

I was in Delhi for a few days last week to cover, among other issues, the pre-election mood for a few Nepali publications.

Now, it is not as if I am totally unfamiliar with the Indian media scene. We watch Indian news channels here in Kathmandu and know the nature of the beast. I have friends in the Indian TV business who had come to cover Nepal elections last year but ended up reporting on adventure sports despite the huge Maoist win. “Boss, no one is interested in Nepali politics. Rafting will sell,” they had said. And we saw India TV go hysterical when the Maoist government appointed Nepali priests in the Pashupati Temple to replaces the ones from Karnataka – the media induced pressure forced ‘secularists’ like Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh, on a visit to Kathmandu, to force the government to retract and got venom spewing Ram Yatris like L K Advani to make calls to Prachanda to convey his ‘disappointment’. Continue reading Exclusive TV tamasha at Ashoka Road