Even after 3 months Arnab Goswami resigned from TimesNow, he has been in the limelight and talking point in the world of media. His popularity has increased day by day after he announced the starting of his own venture Republic TV.
Many channels and magazines took a number of interview in which he directly exposed many people who in lutyens media were trying to stop his venture. In the recent interview, Goswami has taken directly on Rahul Gandhi, Barkha Dutt, Sidharth Vardarajan, and Karan Johar.
Check what Arnab said in the interview!
- You will start Republic TV in few weeks, How will it be ideologically different from Times Now and NDTV?
NDTV and Times Now can do what they want. I don’t have any advice for them. You are referring to corporate media houses. I’m referring to Republic. Republic is a content-run enterprise. We will not sell news. We will not sell our equivalent of the front page. We will not take land from political parties and go soft on them. We will not fund India-Pakistan peace initiatives as a funding strategy for the organisation.
- What do you mean when you say newsrooms are biased towards Lutyens’s Delhi?
Not a bias, but I think there are people in Delhi who believe that they’re the custodians of Indian journalism. They eat together, meet together, socialise together with politicians. If you go to Delhi, you will find that all those people in media who are supposed to be reporting on the politicians are wining and dining with the politicians.
I hear stories about ill-gotten wealth. I hear about editors having massive farmhouses worth hundreds of crores in Chhatarpur. You cannot make that kind of money through an honest journalist’s income. I see a link between the calm disposition of the Lutyens’s media towards corruption and the growing personal wealth of some of the top names in journalism.
I’m going to continue to question them. Because the Nira Radia tapes episode showed that there was a direct link between some journalists who were acting as mediators for corporate houses and politicians.
- The reasons why you left Times Now have been a mystery, Can you tell us what happened?
Let me say that I did not want to make things uncomfortable for them anymore. I don’t believe in journalism in which a film director can call up a media proprietor and then shivers go down the spine of the media proprietor. And I feel truly sad when some film director calls up a media proprietor and says, ‘Why is this channel asking questions about me, and about why Pakistani artists are acting in my film?’ and the media proprietor gets scared. That’s very unfortunate.
(This was in reference to none other than Karan Johar, who had put Pakistani actors and supported Pakistan after the Uri attack and Surgical strike)
- You’ve often been vocal about other media and former colleagues, Well, not directly. But Barkha Dutt is one, and she has been equally vocal about you.
I feel Barkha Dutt should check her facts. Barkha Dutt was openly praised by a person called Hafiz Saeed. While I’m nobody to comment on people, if people begin to distract attention from the praise of Hafiz Saeed by imagining that I’ve taken their name — these people should first stop imagining I’ve taken their name. I have made a comment against the media that speaks against the nation.
I have never taken any names. It’s what you call the guilty conscience of some journalists. That journalist in question must ask themselves, ‘Why is Hafiz Saeed praising me?’ Is it because that Indian journalist has done a lot in lionising another terrorist called Burhan Wani? Hafiz Saeed would love an Indian journalist whose documentary is praising Burhan Wani as some kind of Facebook hero. Why does an Indian journalist lionise Burhan Wani? Why does an Indian journalist serve the purpose of the Lashkar-e-Taiba sitting in India?
You have an Indian passport, you’re on an Indian channel, you’re earning in Indian rupees, you’re broadcasting to Indian people. Why are you doing things that will help Lashkar-e-Taiba, which kills thousands of people in our country?
There’s a section of media in India that works against India’s interests. I think it is time for some of us to speak out against them and expose them.
- What do you mean when you say Republic TV will have an “India bias”?
I have always been biased towards India. I want to know why a section of the Lutyens’s media has a bias against India. It is shocking what I’m about to tell you.
But, there are some people who don’t even have Indian passports. They are Indian in ethnicity, but have chosen to be American citizens. They are running digital media companies. I want to know where they are receiving their funding from, and what their sources of income are.
There is an American citizen running a digital news site in India, inciting students in JNU, speaking openly for Maoists, and questioning Republic. I doubt the intentions of these people. They’re certainly not for India. When there are people like them who exist in our country, it is the responsibility of people like us to speak up for India. I am willing to fight these people till my last breath now.
(This is none other than Siddharth Varadarajan who runs digital media The Wire which has taken anti India stand many times).
- Liberals these days are being branded as anti-nationals and not in line with the nation’s interests. Can you not be a liberal and also be pro-nation?
The problem is that I don’t know what is liberal and what is left-liberal. There are a bunch of people who like to sip the best Scotch in Delhi Gymkhana and call themselves left-liberal.
What is left-liberal? If you’re a leftist, you can’t be a liberal. If you’re a liberal, you can’t be a leftist.
They live in big houses, they have super luxury lifestyles, largely subsidised by previous governments. The change in government has taken away these privileges from them, and they’re feeling uprooted from their life of privilege.
My definition of liberal also means that I do believe that you need to be pro-army and pro-country. People say if you are pro-army and pro-country, you become right-wing. In that case, I strongly suggest that 100 per cent of India should become right-wingers.
Is it liberal to denigrate Bhagat Singh and call him a terrorist? Bhagat Singh was described as a terrorist because the Gandhi family did not want the attention to go away from Jawaharlal Nehru. So, Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh and all these people were considered to be terrorists. And Nehru was considered to be the saviour of the Indian National Congress. This is also the award wapsi gang, who did not return the awards when 1984 happened.
- Did you miss covering the UP elections in your absence from news? What did you think of the media’s coverage?
Absurd. The media should go into penance for what happened in UP. I mean, it just shows that the Lutyens’s media has no clue about this country. All of these people, I strongly suggest, should go into 14 years of vanvas from journalism, and find out why they have lost their touch.
Some of these so-called prominent editors, some of whom were also prominent in the Nira Radia tapes, have tweeted their anger at Rahul Gandhi. They are actually upset that Rahul has not performed up to their expectations. Rahul and Akhilesh, it seemed to me, were puppets of a certain section of the pseudosecular media, who wanted to present them as the two saviours.
Two dynasts coming together, one of whom ran the most corrupt government with absolute lawlessness in UP, with people who could be picked up on the streets and kidnapped, and women were unsafe, and no police cases were filed. Along with another person who is so spoilt that he flies in a chartered jet everywhere and then goes to a public rally and says, ‘Mere paas ek phata kurta hai.’ How could these two gentlemen be anybody’s saviours?
I spoke to a few reporters and asked, ‘Why did you misread what happened in UP?’ They said, ‘We did not misread. But our bosses and their bosses in Delhi had already made up their minds about what the UP result was going to be.’