Sunday, 28 June 2015

An Open Letter to Arnab Goswami

Dear Arnab,

I used to be a regular viewer of your channel and especially the prime time program  from 9 pm to almost 11 pm.  However,  for several months now I have stopped watching your these farcical “debates” as no person with some knowledge of events, logic, facts and civilized public behaviour can tolerate your  sheer arrogance and cocky behaviour. Your method and  style of questioning your panelists  is not only insulting, intimidating and utterly condescending but also against any civilized and democratic norms.  You constantly interrupt  the panelists, refuse to shut up, don’t allow them to present their perspective and thrust your own views on them as well as on the viewers of your program by intimidation and threat. You sit in your chair for those couple of hours  just to sadistically pour scorn, derision and sarcasm on the  hapless panelists, who disagree with you or have a different view point knowing very well that most of them  cannot retaliate.  I am writing this open  letter to you as this is the only way I can express  my opinion uninterrupted, without intimidation, threat and abuse from you.

Arnab, you must be hallucinating that you deserve a  Pulitzer Prize or some other similar awards due to your this digital version of Kangaroo Court better deserves to be referred to as  “Noisy Hour”.  Just because you have taken up the job of a journalist, you have no right to proclaim that you represent “people’s voice”,  ask questions on behalf of the people and demand answers.  Have you ever asked the people you claim to represent,  if they approve of your behaviour and actions? A journalist’s duty is to report the events  and let people judge what or who is right and what or who is wrong. But Lord Goswami, your  intention of presenting a story in your channel is to set an agenda by gagging the opinion of those who disagree with you. Your focus is less on journalism and more on influencing or rather manipulating  opinion by sensationalising to earn TRP. You go as far as possible to influence opinion and set agenda. You come into your “Noisy Hour” every evening with your pre-set views and personal agenda, which you  thrust  on all the panelists and manipulate the direction and outcome of the debate. The  purpose of any debate  should be  to get all sides  of the story but  in your debates  all the panelists having an opposite view to yours  are cowed and overpowered by your  interruptions and self-righteous attitude. You  even don’t hesitate to criticize your  panelists  having a different view than yours  by saying that they "should be ashamed for their views". You consider that only you are right in every issue,  claim to speak for the people and demand  answer on behalf of the people. You ask questions, flaunt unverified facts  and gag those who wants to answer with counter facts and logic.  The panelists come to your show to express their views and the least you can do is to allow them to express their opinion, put forward their facts &  logic and treat their views with a little respect even if they are wrong sometime.  But your approach proves that you don’t believe in any other view point other than your own, believe only your own unverified data & proofs, argue with prejudice  and scuttle all independent thoughts and beliefs of anybody who doesn’t agree with you  by deriding them  and overpowering  them with interruptions and self-righteous attitude. Journalism says that a moderator in a debate should be a facilitator of all the various views and logic, shouldn’t take sides or becomes party to the discussion. But for  you  Arnab - the self-appointed  Judge, Jury and Executioner - no matter what the issue before you, you are always in a belligerent mood, provoking and unnerving your guests. Your questions and responses are always filled with derision and an inexplicable irrelevant anger.

You  choose and focus on a new issue every evening for your  "Noise Hour" on the basis of the amount of media rating it can fetch and are laid on the foundation of a perfunctory research. You are always a party to the discussion and brings with you  what you  perceive as the correct 'notion'.  You start your  show with your own  perceived  correct ‘notion’, give a title to it appropriately  and pre-determine the  verdict undermining the reason to have the debate. At the end of the discussion - Lord Arnab,  you declare your judgement on the chosen issue and convict the people involved in it without any corroboration or validation. You believe that  people should come on your show to confess  and hence you  try repeatedly  to coerce your  “under trials”  to confess to  something by bullying, intimidation and threat.  In you there is neither subtlety nor polite firmness that one would expect from a  News Presenter and Moderator. Instead, what we see  from you  is  constant diatribe of invective, insult,  intimidation, sarcasm, and humiliating below-the-belt personal comments. That even the most basic checks and balances are not in place and inspite of that  you behave as if you are above all laws and regulations, were evident from the Rs. 100 Cr. defamation case that Justice Sawant slapped on your channel  and won.  Have you also forgotten the #ShameOnTimesNow episode or you still consider that it was a handiwork of your competitors in collusion with some political forces?  But still you have neither learnt your lessons  nor taken any corrective measures.  I wish someone with the courage and conviction of Justice Sawant  slaps another case for manipulating and distorting facts on you and you get some time to introspect by  cooling  your arrogance and false sense of self-righteous attitude in a prison cell.

Sorry Arnab,  what you are pretending to do is not journalism. True journalism is not about thrusting 'your views'  as gospel truth on the people  but presenting correct information and all sides of the story for the people  to decide and judge. If you don’t change your behaviour or attitude, the day is not far when someone will be compelled to use your tactics in a different form and degree on you to show you reasons. That day, you won’t be even able to cry foul of victimhood and there won’t be anyone left to sympathize with you.  

Yours Truly,

A viewer of yours who demands an answer