When Arnab Goswami chose to quit Times Now in October this year, it shocked many as the most watched anchor was going to say goodbye to the studio where he had been seen silencing the veterans from every field with his ‘self-proclaimed logic’. But to make his fans cheer, Arnab soon announced a new venture called Republic, which he believes would change the ‘perspective’ of journalism.
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At a function of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar in Jaipur, Goswami spoke about Republic, the idea behind it and why he feels that journalism should be independent of political influences. He described an incident when he made the CPM apologise to him for being manhandled by one of its workers after his interview with Jyoti Basu in 1996. “(He) held me, pushed me against a wall, snatched my camera from me at the entrance of the CPM office. He repeatedly pushed me back and almost smashed my head against a wall,” said Arnab.
He said when he went back and asked for an apology, he was told, “Go fight your own battles.” “I said that I would sit on a hunger strike outside the CPM office until I get an apology letter. I did so and eventually, I had an apology letter from him,” said Arnab, adding that it was incidents like these which had encouraged him to start “Republic”.
“Politicians give ads in news channels and mistreat journalists. All of these things have encouraged me to start ‘Republic’. The idea behind ‘Republic’ is to change the perspective of journalism,” he said.
He also promised to not “let down” people’s faith in him. “The people who rejoiced when I left (Times Now) will eat their words now, because I am coming back with ‘Republic’,” he said.
He also said that his journey so far in the journalism industry has not been easy. “People tell me, ‘what will you do? You are one person, they are big companies. You have little money, they have a lot of money. You’re not a businessman.’” He admitted that he is not a businessman and pointed out that his drive was different. “I believe in this country. There is a reason why we have named our venture ‘Republic’. It means ‘for the people’… undiluted and direct to the hearts of our people. If we are true, I know you will not let down my faith in you,” he said.