Mr Arnab Goswami,
The first time I noticed you, was when you got the entire media, including the Lutyens media, to focus on the plight 5-year-old old kid who got trapped 50 feet underground and it took more than 50 hours to rescue the kid. The reason the news caught my attention was that I was surprised to see television media caring about human life. The usual pattern till then had been to use caste, religion, gender or anything else to propagate their agenda rather than to care about human life. I have no doubt in my mind that if you would not have taken up the cause, the kid would have died a lonely, terrified and horrific death like many before.
I remember saying to myself at the time “Finally someone is talking about the living rather than focusing on the caste or religion of the dead ones”. This was a welcome change from the usual “insensitivity”; that had seeped into every cell, every institution, every mind over the years; the media and the civil society shows towards human life.
How did we reach this point? How did we create an India where insensitivity used to run in veins whether it was the insensitivity towards cleanliness, towards rule of law or towards another fellow human being. Where everything else mattered – your surname, powerful connections, money, religion, caste, community, – but your ability and hard work. Where everyone had adopted a “victim mindset” and were busy blaming each other for their problems rather than working together to solve those very problems plaguing all of us.
There is an old Hindu saying “Yatha Raja, thatha Praja”. In a democracy, it can work both ways because “Praja” chooses their own “Raja”. We had a “Raja” who had the audacity to say “Money does not grow on trees” while leading the most corrupt government in the history of India, and perhaps the world, that too after his own party had ruled India since Independence for more than 60 years. We had a dispensation who used to believe in redistribution of resources to make people fight with each other and become dependent on them to receive their fair share, rather than uniting everyone to create more resources for everyone.
The dispensation whose barbaric leaders believed in “forced vasectomy” to solve India’s problems while the educated, read ones used to philosophize “India is an old civilization in the advanced stages of decay” and use Hindu scriptures to justify their insensitivity, selfishness and incompetence in creating a just and equal society.
It is often said that “the silence of the honest ones hurts more than the actions of the evil ones”. I think that is what happened to UPA-2. People were so hurt by the silence of the “honest” Manmohan Singh (who used to enjoy huge respect even in opposition) on incidents after incidents – 2G, Coal scam, CWG scam, Lokpal agitation, Nirbhaya, action on peaceful protesters in the middle of the night in Ramlila Madan, lack of action on violent protests in Azad Maidan, and many many others. It proved to be a final nail in the coffin for Congress when people finally realized that when even a popular, honest leader cannot change the mindset of the Congress party then no one can.
Usually, there are 4 major groups that stand up to an all-powerful state – universities and academicians, judiciary, civil society and the media.
After the failed attempt to make this oldest civilization as their official kingdom in the 70s, this family and its cabal resorted to the backdoor to get everyone in line. They used stick-and-carrot approach for the civil society, bogged down judiciary with innumerable laws and frivolous cases and left the education world in the “able” hands of left to propagate ideas like “corruption is good for society”, “Durga was a sex worker” and many others.
But what about the Media? Isn’t it suppose to be one of the pillars of a functional democracy? How did they decide to lick the feet of one family and one party? How did the entire media control get concentrated to a gang of people residing in a minuscule area of this humongous country who had surrendered their souls to a family in return for riches and power?
Such was the aura of this Lutyens’ gang that they could decide who would get which ministry in the government while making sure no one talks about it when the proof gets leaked to the public domain. Who can forget the “self-censorship” when it comes to tahalka exposes, the #MeToo storm, Radia tapes and many others by the “neutral and fair” media.
In the midst of all this, the question that was there in everyone’s mind was “how can India change”?
However, as it turned out, the answer was pretty simple. An honest, visionary, decisive, risk-taking political leadership. The people of this country are smart enough to solve their issues and build a great society but what was needed was just a little “sensitivity” by the rulers of this oldest civilization.
Narendra Modi has given the confidence that we can ask questions from the political leaders and make them accountable for their sins. Judiciary is slowly getting their independence back and reforming itself to address the sheer scale of this country. Civil society is becoming merit-based where the deserving ones are coming forth rather than the ones with “connection” and the quintessential elite in all of these groups are becoming irrelevant.
However, one question that always used to bother me was will we ever held the media accountable for the chokehold they helped maintain on Indian Democracy?
And that is where I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have followed you since getting a glimpse of your journalism during the “Prince” story. I may not agree with all your ideas, positions or your sheer volume (which by the way I am very sympathetic to since I have a very high pitched loud voice myself) but I have no doubt in my mind that you are one of the few journalists fighting to bring the “gang” to justice and certainly the most prominent one.
You have never compromised in your crusade towards this Lutyens’ gang so much so that you decided to base your channel from Mumbai rather than Delhi NCR where most of the Lutyens gang have their bases. I understand how risky this is or how damaging it can be to your professional interests but you never backed down. And I wish you never will until we free our democracy from these gangs that have engulfed our society and institutions.
Thank you for taking the names and exposing the “powerful” in AugustaWestland scam. Let’s hope more skeletons tumble out from the cupboard full of sins of last 30-40 years and I also hope you will be there to unmask the culprits when they do.