The media group Dainik Bhaskar recently organised an event in Jaipur to commemorate its 20 years in the business. The event hosted a number of speakers, one of whom was the former editor-in-chief of Times Now, Arnab Goswami.
Goswami opened up on a host of subjects, ranging from his upcoming new venture Republic, to his struggles early on in his profession, to why he shouts.
On his struggles
In this country, you have to shout to be heard.
Goswami recalled an incident from the time of the 1996 elections. He said he was manhandled by the “political stooge of the then CPI(M) bosses” after interviewing former CPI(M) politician Jyoti Basu. He said his camera was snatched from him and he was pushed against the wall. He asked his fraternity present there for help but didn’t receive any. So he chose to fight his battle alone, he said, asking for an apology from Prakash Karat and receiving it.
He also brought up a time when he was asked to go back and apologise to a law minister when he was a reporter with NDTV. He said the minister had called up the news channel after he had asked him a tough question about his wrongdoing.
On the importance of the digital medium
We will see the use of digital like never before, and we will see a lot of power in the hands of, today, 200 million to 300-400 million and billions worldwide that propels news consumption.
Goswami said the big push towards digital is leading to democratisation of information. “If anyone tries to stop us, we have 13 other ways of reaching the audience,” he added.
I’m not a businessman, but I know that I’ve placed my belief in the people of India. And I believe in this republic, I believe in this country. And there is a reason why we have named our venture Republic. Republic means Re-public - for the public - voice of the public. Nothing else, undiluted and direct, to the hearts of our people.
Goswami also vowed to never let down the faith of the people until his very last day in this profession.