It has been a while since Times Now Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami quit and thereby deprived his fans of, what had become, one of the ‘loudest’ news shows in the country, if not the world. While many questioned the quality of his journalism, Goswami went on his way undeterred. For many, his Newshour show at 9 became a must-watch and they feel the vacuum every night. His reach was massive and that stemmed not just from his no-holds barred patriotic stances, but also from his many spectacular phrases, the most favourite one-liner being, ‘the nation wants to know’, delivered with all the conviction he could muster, and this has crept into common parlance on a daily basis. Suffice it to say, he could make people rage at him and their co-panelists at will on his show. The public, which had till then rarely, if ever seen that kind of ‘journalism’ was enraptured. And yes, they have worried about where and when they will get their nightly dose of Arnab back again.
Well the newsman has already let it be known that he is coming back soon at the head of a channel called ‘Republic’ and he has promised that it would change the ‘perspective’ of journalism. He fleshed out those ideas a little more in the public sphere when he spoke at an event held by Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar in Jaipur. Speaking freely, Goswami said that he is working to create a journalistic institution independent of political influences. That he has the power of creating such an entity is clearly visible and he described an incident to show what he meant. Goswami said that at the height of the CPM power he forced that party to apologise to him personally when he stood on his principles despite their show of force. He said that he was manhandled by a CPM worker after an interview he conducted of Jyoti Basu way back in 1996. Goswami said, “(He) held me, pushed me against a wall, snatched my camera. He repeatedly pushed me back and almost smashed my head against a wall.”
Unwilling to take the affront, Goswami said he demanded an apology, but was rebuffed. They told him to “Go fight your own battles. I said that I would sit on a hunger strike outside the CPM office until I get an apology letter. I did so and eventually, I had an apology letter from him.” Goswami said that this incident, and others like these, gave him strength to start ‘Republic’. He added, “Politicians give ads in news channels and mistreat journalists. The idea behind ‘Republic’ is to change the perspective of journalism”.
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He also indicated that he was well aware of what his supporters wanted and vowed to not “let down” any one. And he also sent a loud warning, “The people who rejoiced when I left (Times Now) will eat their words now.”
Putting things in perspective that he may not have the means to fight the high-and-mighty in the country, Goswami said, “People tell me, ‘what will you do? You are one person, they are big companies. You have little money, they have a lot of money. You’re not a businessman.’” He finished by saying, “I believe in this country. There is a reason why we have named our venture ‘Republic’. It means ‘for the people’… undiluted and direct to the hearts of our people. If we are true, I know you will not let down my faith in you”.