Arnab Goswami has listened to Mr. Narayana Murthy's plea. India, Mr. Goswami's nation, has found an answer to the charges on lack of innovations. Mr. Goswami is spearheading a movement in his new avatar. After a brief hiatus from public eyes, he is back with a news channel which claims to have snatched the numero uno spot in no time. For the last 1 week, its only line is India vs Pakistan. It's a hard line as opposed to the carefully crafted diplomatic ones being watered till now. It's a pseudo war (albeit verbal with slurs being the only weapons) that gets played out on national TV everyday. In aggression it can beat even a real army on a scorching summer day, in warmongering an Alexander or a Kublai Khan.
I'm not going to raise fingers on his (or his financier's) ulterior motive behind running such a high octane show. The typical questions his rivals ask e.g., whose money is it, are the fierce exchanges scripted, why just one headline, is it about news or just a heated-up debate show, are these panelists on payroll of the channel, why so much of bellicosity etc... they don't exactly appeal to me. I see him as a trendsetter in the business of news broadcasting. His modus operandi has generated considerable stir in the viewers so far and slowly driving the competing channels to follow the trend. If this really succeeds, he would be called a pioneer of a new format in news business. Gone will be the days of subtlety, courtesy and tact. Let there be gore. Blood? By the way, AG does remind his viewers that his life is at stake. His truth-seeking has seemingly positioned him as a threat to the politicos and rival media houses. But I'm not into these aspects.
What excites me is the fruition of reality television. I can't believe I'm witnessing history in the making, so closely, so silently. The idols, the talents, the laughter, the attitudes and of course their teary parents, dreamy grandparents and the emotional judges, the loud love, the zeal to overcome the dreaded poverty... somewhere Indian TV wasn't able to ward off its American roots of reality. At best we were localizing the semantics, the backdrops and the language. AG, from his comeback horseback, has challenged the very structure of TV journalism with something innovative. It's still a reality show with all its rudiments, but strikingly novel in texture and reckless in throw. Besides, it's essentially 'news' and news by far is seated at the core of human civilization. It's as fresh as WWE (the beaten up may just get more), as evolved as cricket (technology and cheer leaders make up for human errors and boredom respectively) in India. If those have paved the path for 'sports entertainment', AG has dared revolutionizing 'news entertainment'. There are glimpses of Gonzo journalism, exploitation movies, the whole genre of darkness... the noir. India, my nation, AG's nation, couldn't have asked for a better innovation.