Arnabed by Goswami - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
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Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
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2 APRIL 2014

"Arnabed", in the fictitious Dictionary of India's Television Watchers, is defined as "a verb which typifies the act of being bowled over, of being pulverized, of being repulsed, of having a strong love for, of having a strong aversion to, of having a strong reaction to".

And so, indeed, I was "Arnabed" by Goswami.

In my pocket I carry a Reminder Card on which I jot down the things I need to do -and the Honest Truths I need to write.

Watching the News Hour show a few nights ago in the company of my father and - experiencing all the feelings used in the fictitious Dictionary of Indian Television Watchers - I jotted down the theme for a future Honest Truth: "Arnabed by Goswami".

But not all such jottings get converted to an Honest Truth.
This one did - by some divine intervention.

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The guest speaker of the meeting I attended was Arnab Goswami.
The noting in the Reminder Card would now make it to an Honest Truth.

No underhand deliveries
The meeting, like all Rotary events, was organized and structured.

I observed that Arnab Goswami, sitting in the chair reserved for guests, was a few feet away from a microphone. But he was silent.

For 15 painful minutes, the microphone must have been yearning to hear his voice - as much as Arnab Goswami must have been yearning to cure it of its lonely silence.

And then the onslaught began.

The role of media, he boomed, is to act as an agent of social change.
Not to have drinks and discuss private deals with their subjects and then to instruct their junior staff to bowl underhand deliveries.
At The News Hour office in Lower Parel, issues that need to get highlighted are discussed and researched. Fearlessly.

No one has sued them - the information and the news they carry is based on facts.

Imagine, urged Arnab, a world without The News Hour: Suresh Kalmadi would be heading the Indian Olympic Committee and India's bid for the Olympics - and still standing for elections on a Congress ticket. Ashok Chauhan would still be Chief Minister of Maharashtra - sadly he did get a ticket.

The BJP's willingness to take in this character, Pramod Muthalik - whose only claim to fame was that he beat up young girls in a bar with 40 hoodlums - was relentlessly pursued by the media till the BJP relented. The interview with Sabir Ali, a rich man wooed by all political parties - and his matter-of-fact statement that all politicians are opportunistic.

The interview with the three young girls from Jharkhand after their triumphant return from a soccer match in Europe.

The interview with Rahul Gandhi - no, there was no one in the room with cue cards (my thoughts: maybe there should have been!); the invitation to Narendra Modi for a similar interview.

The observation that Amethi - regardless of the outcome - is a great election to watch as it shows the battle for the future of India. All young candidates; representing the dynastic rule, the other mainstream political party, the newly formed AAP; the known and the unknown.

The role of The News Hour is to fight for issues - not to back a political party.
And media must support issues, not report them.
This is the new-style age of aggressive - and assertive - journalism.

And, yes, there cannot be a mute button on the show to drown out the frequent yelling and cross-talking - that would be politically incorrect.

And, yes, there has to be this constant butting in and cutting off of the speaker. "Have you ever heard a politician stop talking?" asked Arnab. (Politicians are probably saying the same thing: Have you ever heard Arnab stop talking?"☺)

The microphone roared.
The audience was spellbound.
The politicians and other gangsters who make it to The News Hour Show for all the wrong reasons have an unorthodox bowler to face.
"We do not bowl underhand deliveries" said Arnab, "I bowl bouncers and googlies".

And, in true Arnab style, the match went into overtime: there was more microphone and too few minutes!
The Chair of the Rotary function told the audience that we will extend the event by "another 15 to 20 minutes". The audience, including me, could have stayed on for hours.

The men must have been wondering (maybe shuddering?) if the people they know - and probably work with - will, one day, get a phone call: "Hi, this is Arnab. Please can I invite you to appear on my show?"

And at the end of the show, the women went up to be photographed in another bout of "selfies" that will flood the social media networks.

Like all of us there: they were "Arnabed" by Goswami.

Have you been "Arnabed by Goswami"? Share your experience in the Equitymaster Club!

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Disclaimer: The Honest Truth is authored by Ajit Dayal. Ajit is a Director at Quantum Advisors Pvt. Ltd and Quantum Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd. The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and has not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author, Equitymaster, Quantum AMC and Quantum Advisors do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site. To write to Ajit, please click here.


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13 Responses to "Arnabed by Goswami"

SHEKHAR SHIRALI

Jun 8, 2014

Absolutely true. Arnab Goswami is too opinionated. In fact Zee Tv had a spoof on Arnab where a Character called Hardam Swami talks and acts exactly like him and it was hilarious. Arnab never lets the participants on his programs speak. He goes on chattering and imposes his opinions on them and seems to be determined to show the world that he knows everything about every damn topic on earth and everyone else is bound to accept his opinion.

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Kishor Patil

Apr 10, 2014

I think Arnab has given us enough points to choose whom we should trust and vote especially for the younger generation.Most of the spokespersons are graduates and postgraduates from abroad and when they appear on Times Now we know that thier qualification is a big zero.

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Nirav Mehta

Apr 8, 2014

I am a big fan of Equitymaster, Quantum Mutual Fund and Ajit Dayal

But this Honest Truth is nothing short of a quick piece of scribble, written just to meet the timelines committed to Honest Truth subscribers.

Does it have any insights? NO
Does it have any thought provoking ideas or statements? NO
Does it have any statistical master piece? NO

Is this an uninvited endorsement of Arnab? YES
Is this a so-called patch up with media to get more eyeballs for Equitymaster? Probably YES

Is there a need to ensure no such BS Honest Truth comes up in future? YES YES YES

Like (1)

Dr Rama

Apr 7, 2014

I am not Arnabbed! Although I like him since he did a good job interviewing Rahul Gandhi patiently, sometimes he does not allow the respondent to complete his point. One example was his silencing Alyque Padamsee when he tried to make some point concerning Tarun Tejpal. Alyque should have been allowed to make his point and then you could counter him with opposite views or allowed the other debaters in the show to debate the point. Arnab did neither. Instead he just steam-rolled Alyque resulting in an unseemly spat with him.

Like (1)

Surprised Reader

Apr 6, 2014

I am surprised to read this article. Is it the case that we are always in awe of something which we miss. I have always seen you articles are measured and there is nothing measured for Arnab. I am great fan of him in a different way...that I am great fan of David Dhawan movies. When I don't want to apply my mind, I see David's movie. Similarly when I want to hear some shouting I switch to Arnab. I thought if he adds little humor he will be great. Just ask him to look at Rajdeep. Hard hitting does not mean shouting, once Rajdeep was like that. But recently he has very nicely changed himself by adding little humor. Even better look at Guru of all these modern anchors Dr. Roy.

Like (1)

Simha

Apr 6, 2014

Arnab may be intimidating, but still interesting, many notches above others. He is till my choice no.1 though I also switch channels when he digresses.

Like (1)

rashi

Apr 6, 2014

It is not just the noise, he is so oppinionated that he should automatically get disqualified from anchoring a fair debate. The channel is obviously sold to BJP & their corporate moneybags. Alas! one more (from the fabled fourth estate) bites the dust in the fight against corruption.

One question to the anchor though(for old times sake), What is your take on news channels revealing their ownership and affiliations as a disclaimer before, during & after these crass one sided monologues called debates?

Like (1)

RLN

Apr 6, 2014

Mr. Arnab as defined by Mr. Subramanaisamy is a opinionated person. He instead of getting opinions/views of his guests, he try to impose his view on them and the viewers. In other channels they ask some questions and from the answer they again ask some tricky questions. That way it is enjoyable to watch TV debates in Newsx, NDTV, CNNIBN etc.
He sometimes calls some controversial person into his debate and without giving them any chance he blasts them with unkind words. Even in our democracy murderers are given chance to explain their views. If somebody raises some uncomfortable questions then emergency will be imposed and the person's mike would be switched off. Is this the way conducting debates by a so called independent journalist. If he wants that such persons should not be given platform to express their views in a democracy then why he calls them to his debate. After calling somebody, without giving them any chance to explain their stand and simply blasting them is what kind of journalism? But ironically he breaches democracy, freedom of speech and what not but follows nothing. He should change his autocratic way of conducting debates and allow democracy to get in. Till then he has no right to claim any moral high standards.

Like (1)

Hari

Apr 6, 2014

I do not agree. No journalist is honest in India including Mr. Arnab.
An example is the case against Devyani Kopragade. None of the journalists in India wrote against the fraud she committed.

Like (2)

ramakrishnan

Apr 4, 2014

diffecult to believe that all that shouting leads to anything.if this is journalism and news,i think we better watch BBc or aljaz or even RT .Arnab's shoting shows is a strict NONO for me!

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