Open Letter to Arnab Goswami
I am shattered. Devastated. I can’t even begin to explain how disappointed i am after spending an hour reading this atrocious article that just seems like a vindictive piece out to malign you.
In short, it says that you are a maniac who doesn’t understand anything but TRPs and would go to any extent to win the race with the other channels; that your skill lies not in journalism but in creating controversies and providing entertainment via dumbed down, rhetorical news; that you are a horrible, vindictive boss whose people hate you, calling you nicknames such as Dementor.
The Goswami experience has left everyone, including those who resisted him, a little unsure. One former editor reached for fantasy to describe his effect. “I used to call him the Dementor because you see him and all your happiness gets sucked out. It’s like there’s a chill in the air and everything sad and bad and negative in your life comes out.”
The former high-ranking editor, who worked closely with Goswami for years, said, “You’re dealing with an individual who is deeply complex, unstable, and absolutely vindictive. A brute of a human being. A complete philistine.”
Arnab, what is this? There are so many questions in my head, which is buzzing from the trauma. I wish there was a mike i could thrust in your face like one of your reporters, asking you if you had any comment on the allegations. Or if one of your journalists would thrust a mike in my face asking me how I felt.
Arnab, you have no idea how much this means to me. All these years, i have longed for the day when you would, on prime TV, announce your real superhero identity, and fly off to stop a group of terrorists trying to wage battle against India. You could well be India’s answer to Ironman.
This changes everything, Arnab. This changes everything. The nation demands answers. We need to know what this is.
I feel like that child who is informed a day before Christmas that there is no Santa Claus, that it’s all a hoax. I wish there was a camera in front of me, so i could stare into it with a blank, desperate expression that showed the pain i am feeling right now, the way you do when confronted with corrupt politicians who don’t listen to you.
Arnab, you wouldn’t know how much of an inspiration you’ve been. You’ve shot more people point-blank (with your words) than the most kick-ass encounter specialist anywhere in India. You’ve silenced people who have the power to put behind bars anyone who even dares dream something derogatory against them. It’s so cute to see them go ‘Arnab, Arnab, let me complete at least’ while you show them their place. Fills my heart with joy every time you do that.
You, Arnab, are the enforcer of our democratic process.
I am so inspired that I have modeled my life after you. At work, i run meetings like your panel discussions. People feel happy if they can even speak a word in one of my meetings, leave alone win a point. If they start talking, i just talk at the same time, but in a louder voice, which proves that i win the argument. I may sometimes make up facts as i go along, relying on my loud, anguish-filled voice to make people lose focus and agree to my agenda, but big deal. And you know what the amazing thing is? It works, and i can only thank you for it.
People have role models like Dhoni, Gandhi, Sunny Leone etc. For me, it’s always been you. That navy blue suit, the tie, with its Windsor knot, the specs, the nicely parted hair. You’ve been like that good, patriotic boy i would have married if i were a girl. You’ll be happy to know that i have already planned of dressing up my boy as Arnab Goswami when he is old enough for fancy dress competitions.
It clearly doesn’t help to hear the kind of things people have been attributed as saying against you.
“He humiliates you,” the output editor said. “It’s not just about picking holes. He’s the editor. He’s supposed to pick holes. But to humiliate a person, to demean the person, to bring the person down, to almost terrorise the person in such a way that your self-esteem hits rock bottom?”
The Newshour’s guests say they accept invitations to the show expecting a discussion, only to find themselves cornered and painted in stark terms and, if they persist with nuance, ignored. The activist and academic Madhu Kishwar, a frequent but exasperated guest, penned a widely-circulated open letter to Goswami, complaining that “panelists are expected to simply come and lend further strength to the anchor’s delusion that one hour of Newshour will rid India of all its ills”. The senior manager explained Goswami’s approach. “He feels TV is about drama. You have to stir something up or the audience will be lost. He sees his role as livening things up.”
Hardly role-model stuff.
I am willing to give you the benefit of doubt though. They’re all probably just jealous of your success, or maybe they aren’t as convincing in debates as you are (who am i kidding. Nobody can come close). I’ll take the article with a pinch of salt, just like i take Balika Vadhu, your news reports, and every match the our cricket team wins (or loses).
Maybe you’re just playing the bad boy like Shahrukh Khan in Chak De India, to unite the entire team against you. And it worked well, didn’t it? The girls won the World Cup. You’re on top of the TRP charts. The mark of a great coach is to achieve results, by hook or by being a mad maniac who inspires dread in the hearts of everyone in the mad conquest of TRP charts.
Let the haters hate, Arnab. They can go to hell. Or watch one of the lame-ass competitor channels who haven’t discovered the importance of background music, fancy animation and size 200 font headlines scrolling in four lines across our TV screens.
All i know is that with you up and about, i can sleep at night knowing that India is safe from terror, corruption or any kind of evil. You’re our deterrent against bad things. But i am human after all, and a bit confused that if someone took the trouble of writing an article longer than the Indian constitution against you, there might be some truth in it?
Only you can clear the air now. Perhaps by inviting yourself on News Hour and grilling yourself to Paneer Tikka tenderness.
The nation needs some answers, Arnab. And the nation needs them NOW.Follow @amreekandesi