On Tuesday, Janta Ka Reporter created a social media storm of sorts after it exclusively broke the news on what would arguably the biggest development in Indian media for this year.
No sooner had the news been reported by us, social media users went into a frenzy with Arnab Goswami becoming the top national trend and the Times Now’s journalist quitting the channel becoming a subject of intense conversation on digital platforms.
The journalists present in the editorial meet, specially convened by Arnab to inform them about his decision to move on, were told by the popular Newshour presenter that he had ‘resigned’ to take on new challenges.
However, TV industry is abuzz with speculation on whether Arnab quit of his own volition or he was made to resign.
One Mumbai-based Times Now journalist told Janta Ka Reporter, “Most of us didn’t believe that his decision was sudden. All was not well between him and the bosses in the Times Group. Arnab had spectacularly fallen out with his boss Vineet Jain in the recent weeks making his position in the channel untenable.”
The journalist, who wished to remain anonymous, pointed out how Arnab had given a ‘public dressing down’ to Jain when the right-wing groups demanded a ban on Pakistani actors in India.
“It’s no secret that Arnab ran a campaign against Pakistani actors being allowed to work in Bollywood. Vineet had felt otherwise and even tweeted advocating in favour of Pakistani artists. This was the beginning of the end of Arnab’s relationship with Times Now,” said the journalist.
Vineet, Arnab’s boss and the MD of Times of India group, had tweeted, “By supporting Pak artists v come out stronger globally.we get known as a liberal&peaceful nation.We isolate Pak even more among pak citizens.(sic)”
Arnab was discussing the Khoon Ki Dalali comment made by the Congress’ vice president, Rahul Gandhi on his prime time debate show Newshour, which had Ajay Alok, a JDU spokesperson, as a guest among others.
Much to Arnab’s discomfort and annoyance, Alok taunted the channel’s editor-in-chief several times by reminding him about his boss’s tweet and questioned if Times Group was indulging in hypocrisy.
This provocation prompted Arnab to declare, “Ajay Alok, my name is Arnab Goswami. I know my views and my views are consistent. And my views are consistent with the people of this country. the republic of this country and the army of this country. I DON’T CARE WHO SAYS WHAT..”
Arnab didn’t stop here. Few minutes later, he reminded Alok once again that he was responsible for his views and nobody else’s.
He said, “I will say it repeatedly. I don’t own up to anyone’s views and nobody owns my views. Am I clear to you? Nobody owns my views..”
Many of Arnab’s colleagues had found his outbursts ‘unbelievable’ as, in provocation, he appeared to have crossed the ‘red-line.’
One source said, “No doubt, Arnab has been a star for us and there was no way our bosses would let him go and his stay in the organisation was crucial to Times Now retaining its number one position in the industry. But, there comes a time when the bosses are left with no choice but to act on indiscipline. No boss would want their employees give them a public dressing down even if it is Arnab Goswami.”
Arnab’s body language and tone during the editorial meeting, where he announced his decision to part ways with Times Now wasn’t indicative of the fact that he was leaving the organisation on a good note.
Arnab reportedly kept snapping all throughout his hour-and-a-half long interaction with his colleagues. He told them on more than one occasion that he would ‘rule the industry’ once again.
When one of his colleagues informed him about how Janta Ka Reporter had broken the news exclusively even when he was midway through his conversation with his staff, he snapped once again and reportedly said, “I don’t care about this portal. Let them publish what they wish. I’ve quit now and the industry will see what I will do next. Make no mistake, I will rule the industry once again.”
It is believed that Arnab’s snapping during his interaction with staff and repeated utterances on his intention to rule the industry suggest that the Times Now anchor isn’t leaving the organisation on a good note.
A source said, “We all know that Arnab loves to brag. But his behaviour during his interaction with us on Tuesday was unusual even by his own standard. This was symptomatic of only one fact and that he appears to have been forced to quit. Common sense would say that a journalist like Arnab, who has ruled the industry for several years would have nothing to prove for himself. But, his determination to prove his worth all over again is a sign that the decision to quit the channel has been forced upon him.”
There are many theories being discussed about Arnab’s future plans. While some say that he will soon return with his own channel in collaboration with a foreign media house, others believe the BJP is all set to support his next media initiative.
We made several attempts to seek Arnab’s reaction on Tuesday’s development, but he remained unavailable for comments. We will update this report as and when we are able to speak to him.