What Arnab must do to avoid falling victim to his own hysteria

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Apoorv Pathak

@apoorva2pathak

Arnab Gowami emerged as a bust of freshness on the news scene. In a nation frustrated with politicians, his brook no-nonsense grilling of politicians won him many a convert.

He challenged the politician-media nexus and earned a lot of plaudits for it. Goswami undoubtedly is one of the most talented journalists on air. His good grasp of history, sharp counters and a cultivated indifference to authority along with an understanding of what people want to see has made his show Newshour at 9 one of the most watched English news shows in India.

But what was once a novel experience is straying into a daily shouting match, platform for Pakistan bashing and other shorts of ultra-nationalism along with provocative catering to populist tendencies. Many past admirers of Arnab have now come to wonder whether once the anchor who meant good is doing more harm than good today?

This new year would be a nice time for Arnab to introspect on what he is meant to be doing? He should ask himself if he is putting his talent to the right use? If he honestly reflects along these lines, he will make these resolutions for good of nation and his own.

Calm Down and Promote Sane balanced discussion not a daily cacophony of enraged voices

Shouting and one sided debates may provide entertainment for some but it deprives many of infotainment. People are not deaf they will hear you even if you speak without shouting, loud dramatic music in the background or raging flames on screen. So their is no need to put stress on their eardrums. Also this constant outraging/ranting has become an end in itself not a means.Arnab Gowami should Calm Down and start trying to have more saner discussion where every panelist is allowed his voice(anyways why invite panelist if all you want to do is harangue them).

Nationalism is not hating someone else it is loving your own country

Arnab Goswami has converted Pakistan and separatist bashing into his pet theme. To pander to the nationalistic tendencies it is the easiest way out. All right ,he gets good audience for his slamming matches(yes the show can hardly be called debates) on Pakistan, but in the process he is breeding hatred and fear among indians.

This is not an india we or he should try to create.We must act out of self confidence and maturity and not out of fear, self doubt, fragility and hate.

Arnab is doing a great disservice to the nation and journalism by promoting tendencies which reduce Indian policymakers’ ability to act in a reasoned and impassionate manner. So in the interest of the nation he must cease this Pakistan and separatist bashing with the new year.

Stop Targeting dissenters

Having risen as a voice of resentment against the system, Arnab Goswami ironically has begun targeting those who dissent against the system today-like the NGO’s or the protesting writers. It is quite strange that Goswami who represented common man’s frustation and anger and rode on it for commercial success now is using his channel as a tool to deny that right to other dissenters by questioning their loyalty to the nation or engaging in the classsic whataboutery.

Arnab, more than anyone else, will realise outrage is always selective, we all feel more for some things than we do for others. If that individual’s choice to select when s/he wants to voice his/her discontent is discredited we will be much poorer off as a democracy.

Again, Arnab of all people, has no right to contend that pointing out defects in our politicians or state is maligning the nation as he has made a whole carrier out of outraging against the system.

India didn’t get maligned then, it will not get maligned now. India is too large and deeply rooted to be affected by such things. On the contrary such dissent only serves to provide an opportunity for reflection about our shortcomings and improve them.

Securing the space for such dissent also proves our democratic credential where all sorts of voices are provided a platform to be heard.

So this is the third and final new year resolution Goswami must make that having being beneficiary of dissenting he would not gudge that right to dissent to others.

One hopes the intelligent man that Arnab is, he would make and act on these resolutions. Else he may succeed commercially but would have squandered his potential for greater good that he is capable of.

Worse he may get caught up in his own hysteria like Howard Beale in the epic movie Network, where the popular anchor fans hysteria but then becomes a victim of the very hysteria he generated.

Apoorv Pathak has studied at IIT-Roorkee. Views expressed are his own.

1 COMMENT

  1. I find it strange that an IITian blogger is suggesting resolutions for others. And the second last para suggests that if Arnab is intelligent, he should (necessarily) adopt all three resolutions. Else he will meet his journalistic death.

    There is a commercial angle which you make an allusion to but have ignored largely. Arnab is the best recognized presenter of his channel and has to keep the cash registers ringing. You said he might succeed commercially. To fight a battle you need to hold fort. He will be out of the prime slot the day he starts debating agriculture and girl child.

    Why do you have a problem with Pakistan bashing and spreading of hatred by Arnab? Someday, I suggest you should tune into any pakistan TV channel. And even if you take out Pakistan from our lives, there is enough hatred in the society. This hatred is seeded and spread by the politicians who in the popular vernacular press spread more venom. Arnab is watched by armchair elite who are no threat to anyone.

    I am an Arnab fan myself but instead of defending him in this reply to your post, I am questioning the wisdom of free advice.

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