Ranjona Banerji: ’cause Arnab Goswami wants to know…

18 Sep,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Suddenly last night, it was no longer “India wants to know” on Times Now. It was “I want to know”. And the nation breathed a collective sigh of kinship – we were all the same as Arnab Goswami, the man who speaks for us all.


The thing is, you or me or even he may want to know, but who is willing to tell us? The discussion (I still call it that, for want of a better word) on FDI in retail was organised as a sort of cross-examination of Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP, since his party is the main opposer of FDI. This meant unfortunately that Prasad was given more than his fair share of time to be disingenuous. Everyone knows (that’s you, me and Goswami, hereon known as “I”) that the BJP was all for FDI when it was in power but has been forced to have a change of heart thanks to being in the Opposition and wanting to win the next election and all that.


Anyway, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon had a big grin on her face through the whole show as she watched Prasad tie himself up in knots and then proceeded to demolish his arguments against FDI in retail. She even accused the BJP of not looking out for the best interests of the nation, which in a sense, stepped quite firmly into Goswami territory. Veteran journalist Kumar Ketkar also pointed to the BJP’s double standards and then looked on amused. There were some bit players as well, but they just provided ballast.
The upshot is: did we learn any more than we already knew? What an idiotic question. If you want to learn things from television, you should watch Discovery or National Geographic or whatever.




On CNN-IBN’s The Last Word, Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju told Karan Thapar that he was all primed and ready to take on anyone who filed any more foolish sedition charges against innocent people and how foolish the sedition law is in the first place. It is heartening indeed to know – and Thapar seemed much reassured – that a retired judge who heads a toothless body which deals with complaints against the print media is going to take on the world and save the people from transgressions on freedom of speech. Some people I fear may have more faith in Arnab ‘Save the Nation’ Goswami.




By the way, the next issue which Goswami is going to take up is the All India Tennis Association’s decision not to pick Mahesh Bhupathi or Rohan Bopanna for any more Davis Cup ties till June 2014. This is to punish them for their high questionable behaviour in the run up to the London Olympics. Watch out, everyone. L’etat C’est moi.


While on the subject, DNA seemed to get a scoop over other tennis journalists with the news that Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna are ending their doubles partnership. Bhupathi will tie up Daniel Nestor and Bopanna’s trying to get back with his old partner Aisam Qureshi, whom he had earlier dumped for Bhupathi.


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