Arnab’s Republic: What the Nation Really Wants to Know

Will Republic follow the same methods of journalism Arnab Goswami is (in)famous for?

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The nation has been a witness to Arnab’s daily dose of rage and aggression on his NewsHour debates on Times Now. He went ballistic with several panelists on his show, ranging from political leaders to cops, celebs and even students. He did pose direct questions but he also shouted allegations and criticised guest panelists. He did not let them speak freely, even when they were invited to the show to express their opinions about the topics at hand.

Arnab came across as a jingoistic crusader, powered by his self-righteous attitude and judgemental view point. He seemed to believe it was his right to interrupt his panelists and bring his opinion to the table, saying things such as, “It is because of people like you that…”

Arnab’s NewsHour days are behind him now, and this year is a sort of a new beginning now, as he is going to launch his own venture, Republic. The Twitter handle for the channel went live and the country went berserk. In three days, the Twitter handle has more than 70,000 views.

We at Bayside Journal wonder if he will take the same demeanour he had in this NewsHour days or will we truly see an instance of “independent journalism”.  Will it really be a movement that India could do with in this time and age?

Let’s have a look at the times when Arnab went on with his harangue that was not only aimed at the guilty but those who dared to bring some opposing view or complexity in the debate, unlike his “for” or “against” notions of debate. Bayside Journal has put together these instances:

  • #FlashpointAfzal – Is it freedom of speech or sedition to encourage separatism?

Lenin Kumar, former President of JNU’s student union and member of the Democratic Students Federation, was interrupted six times. Even when Lenin was given the opportunity to speak, he was interrupted again.

Arnab, will Republic too dumb down guest panelists the nation wants to hear from with your style of interrogation? Will you be the only speaker in these debates? The nation really wants to know.

  • #BackArmyEndPolitics – Should Om Puri apologise for the insensitive remark he made about Constable Nitin Kumar who was martyred in Baramulla terror attack?

Arnab says, “Learn to listen”, “Don’t interrupt”, and “Don’t speak over me”, while claiming that people like Om Puri “only know how to portray the emotions for martyr’s family only on screen whereas in real life, you display the insensitivity.”

Will Republic too be a platform for Arnab’s forceful arguments and will see the popular news anchor further defending them in high decibels? The nation is waiting to know.

  • #EndTripleTalaq – Isn’t the decision taken by the government significant, given it meant the principle of constitutional primacy overrides discriminatory practices within religions in India?

Arnab, will we see you frowning and asking people to leave your show when faced with a heated argument on the sets of Republic? The nation demands to know.

  • #BatlaManInISIS – Where are the Batla sympathisers?

Arnab calls a Muslim journalist from Tehelka, Asad Ashraf to being “a cover of the terrorist outfit” and “a sympathiser of ISIS”, as he raised questions on the authenticity of the video featuring Batla House encounter. The journalist was repeatedly asked to admit that the encounter is genuine.

Brand Arnab, would we see you alleging people to be terrorists based on their religion? Will you prosecute them on your show and warn them with a legal recourse even at your new entrepreneurial venture?

  • One-on-one with Mennakshi Lekhi – If there’s a will, why can’t government push for a December ordinance? Why link functioning of Parliament to bringing in an ordinance?

Would we see you tongue-tied again at Republic with “how dare you…”when someone has the guts to negate your arguments or accuse you of wrongdoing?

  • #SchoolsNotStones – Attempt to replace books with stones?

Arnab didn’t get a specific answer and we see Junaid Mattoo, spokesperson of the National Conference walk out of the NewsHour debate. Will Republic, now that it is your own venture, see you again as the “judge and prosecutor” of every topic of discussion? Will you have the last word in every debate rather than be a moderator as expected in a normal debate scenario? The nation wants to know.

While we have no doubt that Arnab will discuss issues that garner viewership for his new venture, what we are interested to know is how he will “bring balance in the Indian media” and “redefine journalism” through Republic.

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