Exiled for three months after his swift departure from Times Now Arnab Gowami , considered television journalism’s one-man army, couldn’t have hoped for a better comeback.
On Saturday 6 May Arnab’s channel Republic TV made its clamorous debut with a clutter-breaking expose that sent shivers up the nation’s spine.This was just what Arnab’s fans were waiting for.
There, on full volume , was the irrepressible Lalu Yadav allegedly holding a conversation with Bihar’s most dreaded criminal Mohammad Shahabuddin who is is in jail.Hence in principle,it appears Mr Bail was in conversation with Mr Jail.
The alleged expose put the fear of God in Arnab’s dissenters, though I am not sure if Mr Lalu Yadav and his clan of political perverts feel even a twitch in their conscience.In fact hours after Arnab’s extremely filmy expose(until now, we always thought the nexus between politicians and gangsters was fodder for celluloid scams) there was a hush in the Lalu Yadav-Nitish Kumar camp, an eerie silence prevailed at Lalu’s residence, some said they had fled the media heat that threatened to out-sweat the summer boil.There was not a murmur from anyone from either quarter making us wonder if Lalu and co. will brazen it out this time around too.
Arnab is of course laughing all the way to the Ganga bank. Patna is shaken. Arnab’s competitors are stirred. AndNitish Kumar may just order his first vodka in years to relax his tense muscles.The BJP is very very pleased with the developments. If Lalu is forced to pull out from the Bihar government,Nitish will have no choice but to coalesce with the BJP.In fact the damming tape that nailed Lalu to a life of crime,is said to have leaked to Arnabfrom the ruling regime.
A senior BJP leader told me, “Yeh toh hona hi ttha.Bihar mein hamara pravesh Laluji ke shubh haath se hi honatha.”
Arnab is not saying anything. “Aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya,” he promises provocatively. No doubt the tone on Republic TV will be several shades more aggressive than earlier. The noise decibel will grow and yes, Arnabpromises that Pakistan will not be spared. Not after they mistook him for Riteish Deshmukh on a lifesizehoarding in Mumbai.
The competition, we hear, is shaken though pretending to be nonchalant. Arnab’s ex-employees had deputies constantly monitoring his incipient manoeuvres on Saturday. They said were not scared,just curious.
Arnab got what he waned on Day 1. Eyeballs. Now for the real battle. While the Lalu-Shahabuddin expose can be regarded as a thunderous beginning,Arnab’s team struck me as raw unpolished and somewhat uncertain. Maybe with time they will acquire their boss’ swag. Also, like Kapil Sharma when he moved from Colors to Sony, Arnab has to guard against looking and sounding like a replica of his earlier avatar. This is easier said than done. Arnab can’t help being loud, aggressive and impatient with his guests.
The nation still wants to know why he doesn’t allow his guests to talk.
Republic TV’s inaugural performance’s rating: ** ½(two and a half out of 5)
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