Republic TV and Republic Bharat had claimed on 19 October and again today that their ‘sting’ operation has revealed a sinister plot of Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik to eliminate their chief editor Arnab Goswami. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy sees a ‘Sushant Singh Rajput-style’ conspiracy that he alleged the Maharashtra government had hatched to “camouflage the supari for the Dubai Dada gang”.
Is the threat real? If yes, what made the Maharashtra government so wary of a journalist? Why did things come to such a pass? Is Republic TV‘s coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput case at the root of the Shiv Sena-NCP-INC government’s threat perception? Is the dispute over TRP the cause or a mere sideshow that sprung forth due to the Sushant case coverage to defame Arnab? Why did the few media houses that appear ideologically aligned with Republic TV — namely Times Now and Zee News — now seen on the side of India Today? Are right-wingers reliable people? Why did the Times Group let Arnab Goswami become so big? What are the implications of trying to eliminate a voice of dissent in Indian democracy? These questions were all answered in the course of this debate.
The participants in the debate were journalist and founder of Satyanveshi Bharat Kumar Shri Kant, who is a former colleague of Arnab Goswami; Professor of Media Studies at Indraprastha University Chandrakant Prasad Singh, marketing and advertising professional Ratnadeep, RSS swayamsevaks Arpit Mishra and Pradeep Singh and Sirf News‘ Editor-in-Chief Surajit Dasgupta.