Mumbai: Walking the last mile before the launch of his independent media platform Republic, Arnab Goswami threw down the gauntlet at legacy media on Wednesday.
Speaking at the FICCI FRAMES 2017 to an august audience comprising the best of creative minds and the most powerful media professionals in the country Arnab sounded his bugle as only he can.
“Those who will understand the hidden script – because I don’t mince my words- will understand what I am saying today: This is a David Vs Goliath fight,” he said. And then paused and smiled at the audience before continuing.
“And I stand here before you proudly to say Goliath has tried to crush me and already failed. Because you can’t crush a thought. David thought on his feet, Goliath did not. David had the speed and David out-thought Goliath. I want to tell Goliath today: Come, out-think me, if you can,” he said quietly.
“I have with me a bunch of Davids. Davids have emerged on their own. And they want to shackle the Davids. Because a bunch of Davids free is a threat to the Goliath. Our bunch of Davids will make old monopolies fall once again, as they have in the past,” he declared.
“Republic will ensure that new ones will come and these new ones – these new guys will be the ones that show the world from right here in India that Content is King, not Money. Money will fail and people will watch the screens that they believe in and not the screens that sell to them,” he pledged and promised that “putting the focus back on each one of you is my only determination.”
“Which side would you be on? With David or with Goliath?” he asked. The hall erupted in applause after 20 minutes of rapt silence.
Slamming the capital based National Media for being so “content in Lutyens Delhi that you stop fighting for the people of the country,” he spoke of “Srinivas Kuchibotla, the young man who did everything to realize his dream of using technology,32 years old – was shot dead in Kansas City.”
“And the satiated Lutyens media was content in labelling it as quote unquote ‘hate crime’. And I ask you today…isn’t there a dent needed in the Indian media to shake it up…to fight for families like that of Kuchibotla. How can you be so satiated in Lutyens Delhi?” he demanded.
“What has the media done to itself? And what version plays out in the everyday if there are petitions after petitions for allowing legal sanctions and constitutional validity to breakup India and not a single word raised on national television, against the everyday corrupt, the everyday rowdy, the everyday bully who in the life and make it a purpose to disgrace this country?” he asked, putting as always, India and Indians over and above all.
And because the Nation wants to know, and because the nation needs a media to fight for it, Arnab spelt out that the focus of Republic will not just be the common Indian it speaks for, but also on the language the common Indian speaks.
“The focus is on India and the focus is on English but English done the Indian way. When I started off as a journalist…they said i should take pauses at the right places…..I won’t speak in the polished way..I will speak English the Indian way…I want to speak in the language that the 25-year-old in the Indian newsroom relates to”, he announced.
Always an iconoclast, the man who changed the definition of news also set forth the new grammar of journalism for new India.
“..They’ll tell you facts are sacred and opinion is free. I say facts are available and opinion is sacred. Opinion in the media is especially sacred because it is a differentiator between a journalism that is confrontational and a journalism that is happy to be docile and subdued. Opinion in the media is especially sacred because it is a differentiator between a journalism that choses to takes the right side of the truth and one that prefers to be falsely neutral in order to perpetuate the status-quo… opinionated media that has the potential to be activist. It is opinionated media that has the potential to be a change agent to being merely a supplier of information. I refuse to be simply a supplier of information,” Arnab said, throwing the gauntlet again down- this time at the old traditional definition of journalism.
Arnab clearly is ready to disrupt the news once again with Republic.