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Arnab Goswami discussing three obsessions of India.
Arnab Ranjan Goswami (born 7 March 1973) is an Indian journalist, who is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network. Goswami's Republic Media Network presently owns and operates two channels namely Republic TV in English and Republic Bharat in Hindi.
Before Republic TV, Goswami was the editor-in-chief and a news anchor of Times Now and ET Now, from 2006 to 2016. Previously, he had also served stints at NDTV and The Telegraph. On Times Now, he anchored The Newshour, a live debate at 9 pm (IST) weekdays, which propelled him to widespread fame. He also hosted a special television programme Frankly Speaking with Arnab. In November 2016, Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now. His news channel Republic TV was launched in May 2017.
Early life and family
Goswami was born in Guwahati, Assam on 7 March 1973 in an Assamese family of Manoranjan Goswami and Suprabha Gain-Goswami. His father, Manoranjan Goswami joined the Indian Army in the early 1960s and retired as a colonel after serving in the army for nearly 30 years. Upon retirement he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and was the party's unsuccessful candidate in 1998 Lok Sabha Polls for the Guwahati constituency. He wrote various columns, books and was the recipient of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Award in 2017. Arnab's mother, Suprabha Gain-Goswami is an author.
Goswami was a part of NDTV from 1996 to 2006. At NDTV, he anchored daily newscasts including News Tonight, a programme telecast on DD Metro.Newsnight, hosted by Goswami, won him an award for the Best News Anchor of Asia 2004 in the 2004 Asian Television Awards.
In 2006, Goswami left NDTV to join the newly-launched Times Now news channel, as its editor-in-chief .
Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now on 1 November 2016 citing editorial differences, lack of journalistic freedom and newsroom politics. He hosted the last edition of his flagship showThe Newshour Debate, a fortnight later. Incidentally, the Newshour has been subject to an ongoing investigation by Ofcom, the UK government-approved regulatory authority for broadcasting, during the months of August and September and it went on to hold Times Now guilty of violating the impartiality clause of its broadcast code.
Arnab Goswami speaking at Wiki Conference Mumbai, India 2011
Republic TV was funded in part by Asianet, which in turn was primarily funded by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a then-independent member of Rajya Sabha who had intricate links with the Bharatiya Janata Party and was vice-chairman of the National Democratic Alliance in Kerala. Rajeev later announced his resignation as the director on the board of ARG Outlier Asianet News Pvt Ltd, the company that owns Republic TV. He stated that he took this decision since he officially joined the BJP and it was in the best interest of Republic TV's brand and team that he no longer serve on the board. Among other major investors were Goswami, his wife, educationists Ramdas Pai and Ramakanta Panda--all of whom invested through SARG Media Holding Private Ltd.
Goswami was the managing director as well the Editor-in-Chief; the channel was launched on 6 May 2017 as a free-to-air channel.Chitra Subramaniam was roped in as the editorial adviser and numerous personas associated with Times Now in various roles joined the channel.
In May 2019, Goswami bought a chunk of shares held by Rajeev Chandrasekhar-promoted Asianet News Media & Entertainment to gain near full ownership. Later Republic Media Network released a statement stating that Goswami personally owns over 82 per cent stake in Republic TV and that the company also owns 99 per cent equity in the downstream digital entity that controls the digital assets of the network.
It was the most watched English news channel in India for 100 weeks in a row since its founding; Goswami was noted to be a critical factor behind the favourable public reception.
Resignation from Editors Guild
In the wake of the 2020 Palghar mob lynching, on 21 April 2020, during his live show, Arnab resigned from Editors Guild. Arnab accused Shekhar Guptaof leading the compromise on journalism for not speaking on incidents like this. Nagpur police registered a first information report against Arnab Goswami over a complaint filed by Maharashtra Power Minister Nitin Raut.
The FIR filed by the police include charges of giving provocation with intent to cause riot, promoting enmity between two groups on grounds of religion or race, deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs and defamation under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
In 2002, Goswami wrote a book: Combating Terrorism: The Legal Challenge.
Goswami and his style of journalism, has been subject to massive criticism.
Modi's supporters often get their news from Republic TV, which features shouting matches, public shamings, and scathing insults of all but the most slavish Modi partisans. Founded in 2017 with B.J.P. support, Republic TV stars Arnab Goswami, a floppy-haired Oxford graduate who acts as a kind of public scourge for opponents of Modi's initiatives.In a typical program, from 2017, Goswami mentioned a law mandating that cinemas play the national anthem, and asked whether people should be required to stand; his guest Waris Pathan, a Muslim assemblyman, argued that it should be a matter of choice.Why can't you stand up? - Goswami shouted at Pathan. Before Pathan could get out an answer, he yelled again, Why can't you stand up? What's your problem with it? Pathan kept trying, but Goswami, his hair flying, shouted over him:- I'll tell you why, because--I'll tell you why. I'll tell you. I'll tell you why. Can I tell you? Then why don't you stop, and I'll tell you why? Don't be an anti-national! Don't be an anti-national! Don't be an anti-national!...
He has been noted for his opinionated reporting in support of Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva across a wide spectrum of situations including by uncritical reproduction of government narratives, avoiding criticism of figures from the ruling party (BJP) and presenting political opponents in a negative light. Goswami has been also linked with the popularisation of the neologisms -- Urban Naxal and Anti-national -- to denote those critical to right wing sentiments or the government, in a bid to evoke hyper-nationalism among the audience. Attempts to quell communal tensions through irresponsible reporting containing religious overtones have been alleged.
He has been accused of opinionated reporting in support of Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva across a wide spectrum of situations -- including by uncritical reproduction of government narratives, avoiding criticism of figures from the ruling party (BJP), and presenting political opponents in a negative light.
Tharoor defamation case
Also that month, parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against Goswami and Republic TV in connection with the channel's broadcast of news items from 8 to 13 May claiming his link in his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death in 2014. Seeking the channel's response, Justice Manmohan of the High Court said, "Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story, you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for."
Remark over Keralites
On 25 August 2018, according to The Week news magazine, Arnab Goswami was lambasted on social media after a 30-second video clip of him purportedly calling "a group" the "most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen" went viral on social media while discussing blocking foreign aid destined for the flood hit state of Kerala. He further added the people who are criticising the government of India in this regard are 'anti-national', 'paid agents', and 'shameless'. Keralites have showered the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Republic TV and Arnab Goswami with ridiculing comments in protest. After being fact-checked by several news portals, it was finally revealed that Goswami's "most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen" comment did not refer to Keralites but he was actually targeting the "Tukde-Tukde Break India forces", "Leftists" and some Twitter handles that spread fake news about the 7 billion flood relief aid from the UAE.
On 30 August 2018, News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) of India demanded Republic TV to tender a full-screen apology for use of multiple objectionable words to describe a bunch of people at a political rally, who were harassing one of his journalists. Republic TV "removed the video from its website and YouTube account" after receiving the complaint but refused to comply with the NBSA order, instead filing an appeal.
In October 2019, RepublicTV was again asked to broadcast a public apology, after the channel declined to co-operate in a case accusing Goswami of violating the standard prohibitions on racial and religious stereotyping and instead commented on NBSA to have engaged in "intense pseudo-judicial oversight". Republic TV did not abide by the order; incidentally, Goswami was the convener of the committee that drafted the code, years back.
Confrontation between Arnab Goswami, and Uddhav Thackeray
Two Republic TV staff and a taxi driver were arrested on 8 September 2020 for allegedly trespassing on a farmhouse of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Raigad district. The issue has since snowballed into a confrontation between Arnab Goswami and the Uddhav Thackeray government. Arnab on 11 September 2020 issued a statement demanding the release of the journalists. He also alleged that the leaders of the Shiv Sena had threatened cable operators to "black out" Republic Bharat, Republic TV's Hindi channel.
^Varadarajan, Siddharth (2019). "The State and/of the Media in Modi's India". In Nilsen, Alf Gunvald; Nielsen, Kenneth Bo; Vaidya, Anand (eds.). Indian Democracy: Origins, Trajectories, Contestations. Pluto Press. pp. 59-60. ISBN9780745338927. JSTORj.ctvdmwxfb.9.