Arnab Goswami has changed the rules of journalism ever since he launched Republic TV in partnership with the Rajya Sabha MP and the NDA’s vice chairman in Kerala, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Many critics have pointed out how Goswami has been pushing the pro-BJP agenda by continuously hounding the opposition leaders through his TV coverage.
The latest in his series has been the Republic TV’s focus on the Rashtriya Janata Dal, whose leaders including the former Bihar chief minister, Lalu Yadav and his daughter, Misa Bharti, are currently facing probe from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
The CBI had recently registered a case against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav for alleged irregularities in a deal dating back to 2006.
The probe against the RJD leaders including Tejashwi, the state’s deputy chief minister, has fueled the speculation over a possible break-up of a coalition with the Janata Dal-United led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
On Thursday, a beaming Goswami announced that one of his ‘news editors’ had managed to ‘super’ exclusively interview Tejashwi, who the Republic TV founder addressed as ‘Lalu’s brat.’
Goswami announced, “Our news editor Deepti has managed to interview Tejashwi, who’s Lalu’s brat, the person who everyone wants out of the Bihar government. Last heard, Nitish wanted him out. He’s flown straight to Delhi apparently for a meeting with another dynast, Rahul Gandhi. Let’s play the interview of Deepti with Tejashwi.”
In the next video, played on Republic TV, a woman holding Republic TV mic is seen approaching Bihar’s deputy chief minister for an interview, which he declines.
Here’s how the mid-air conversation went;
Republic TV: Tejashwi, hi. Can we quickly have a word with you? What happened in the meeting between you and Nitish ji? How was the meeting?
Tejashwi: This is not the right place to talk actually.
Republic TV: We don’t get to speak to you because you don’t speak to media at all.
Tejashwi: We will, on time, we will.
Republic TV: Nitish ji, what did he say to you?
Tejashwi: People have to have their meal also, Let’s not disturb them.
Republic TV: It’s not about disturbing. I will only take two minutes…How was the meeting with Nitish ji?
Tejashwi: I don’t have to comment on everything.
Republic TV: Did Nitish ji bless you? Is he ok?
Tejashwi: It’s all OK, nothing to worry about.
Republic TV: Remember he said, you must give clarification in public domain..
Tejashwi: This is not the right place to talk.
Republic TV: Why is it not the right place to talk?
At this point, a crew member intervenes and asks the representative from Republic TV to return to her seat.
But, her response was of utter disdain when she menacingly looked at the crew and said, “One second. One second.”
In utter disdain to the requests from the crew member, the Republic TV representative continues with her hounding of Tejashwi prompting another woman crew member to ask her again to return to her seat.
Once again the woman from the channel replies by pointing finger at the flight crew, “One second, one second.”
However, this time the airline staff appeared to have taken a dim view of the continuous disregard by the Republic TV representative to their repeated requests. Soon an in-flight announcement is made, “I repeat, passengers are requested to return to their seats.”
What was clear from this interview was Tejashwi’s utter immaturity that despite showing his reluctance to agree for a conversation with the Republic TV, he ended up answering a lot of their questions.
But the experts Janta Ka Reporter spoke to said that the action by the Republic TV representative inside the flight was in gross violation of aviation rules adding that she amounted to being a ‘disruptive passenger’ who will be classified as ‘level 1 safety threat’ to other passengers and crew on-board.
The definition of a disruptive passenger, according to the airline’s rule book, is the one who acts in ‘a disorderly and irrational manner’ and who ‘intentionally interferes with the performance or duties of a crew member.’
While explaining the classification of threats, the rule book defines the level 1 threat as ‘disruptive behaviour including non-compliance, irrational and disorderly.’
One aviation expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Disruptive behaviour is considered under a term of a criminal offence. The rule book empowers the crew members to contact police to deal with the unruly passengers. We also encourage the police to prosecute disruptive passengers, who have endangered the safety of passengers, crew members and the aircraft.”
Under the Tokyo Convention Act 1963, crew members are encouraged to exercise extreme measures ‘in order to protect the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.’
Another aviation expert and currently a pilot of an industrialist told Janta Ka Reporter that the Jet Airways staff were ‘pretty lenient’ in not escalating the matter.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said, “If I was the captain of that flight and the lady in question was showing continuous disdain to requests from my crew members, I would have personally made an announcement warning her about my intention to land the flight at the nearest available destination. In such circumstances, not only does the passenger in question faces immediate arrest and subsequent prosecution but he or she will also have to bear the cost of diverting the flight, landing and taking off to its original destination. I think Republic TV was extremely lucky on this occasion.”