It would not be surprising to say that Arnab Goswami was the trend setter in Indian media industry. He represented a media version with seeds of fascist political culture that was to emerge in India. He was a cross breed of economic and political right. The political culture was to be extremely suppressive of political dissent, rule out any intellectual debates based on reason and logic, be completely subservient to the official version of political events, base judgements on theestablishment version and create a confirmatory rather than a vigilant citizenry.
Arnab was a creation of an economic and political right coming together. The economic right represented by neo-liberal media was trying to expand its market share. The constant search for ways to increase the TRP ratings was one side of the story. This needed packaging of a news product in a manner which aimed at creating an uncritical audience through building sensationalism around news. The political right was represented by bringing right wing discourse into the center of debates – these dealt with issues on nationalism, hate campaigns in the name of anti-nationals, nationalism through glorification of army, terrorism being equated with their religious by ignoring terrorism by majoritarian extremist orgnizations, xenophobia built around Pakistan and China.
Hyper-nationalism became the basis for judging an issue. The panelists standing by hyper-nationalism tended to be automatic good vs. those questioning acts committed in the name of hyper-nationalism became bad. In this good vs. bad, nationalists vs. anti-nationalists, patriots vs. non-patriots – there were victims and beneficiaries. It did directly promote a right wing agenda and legitimized the same. It provided legitimacy to the Bhakts who were in look out for person who represented their hyper-nationalism.
The topics that got debated under ‘Newshour’ or ‘Nation wants to know’ did promote a politics of hatred in the nationalism. It was socially divisive in nature through promotion of a right wing discourse.
Arnab along with Sudheer Chowdhary and Rohit Sardhana formed the Trimurti of Hindutva agenda in Indian Media. While they may or may not directly support the same, by confirming to the official version, remaining uncritical of majoritarian extremism and attempting to completely crush the dissent voices, they did contribute to the same.
N. Srinivasa Rao is an Agricultural Engineer by education and Development Professional by work. He works with a not-for-profit organization in a Senior position