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Republic: How 29 tweets sent a shiver in Lutyens Delhi

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

Winter is never kind to Delhi. The cold is biting and a brutal fog descends on the city each morning. But this winter, there is a special ice wind blowing towards Lutyens Town.


Arnab Goswami’s media venture “Republic” is an unborn baby. It exists in all of 29 tweets, mostly with amateurish posters showing Arnab as somewhat of a cross between a night club DJ and a college student union leader. But judging by the number of enemies Republic has made with 29 tweets, you would think they are a bigger problem than climate change. It’s almost as if the oceans are about to rise and swallow our world tomorrow. Well, somebody’s world, for sure.

They sure are spooked.


They are going through the available information about Republic with a fine toothed comb, somehow trying to discredit it. Already?  Relax Indian Express. Have some “courage”.


Yes, the word panic sounds about right. The fear is also showing on the individual Twitter timelines.


That’s M K Venu, founding editor of The Wire and Former Executive Editor of The Hindu. Take a chill pill, Venu. Why so scared?

Not to mention that the “NRI Patels” jibe was picked up by others too. There’s nothing like a shade of class hatred seasoned with a touch of regionalism to take on an enemy who is giving you nightmares.


You’re a big boy Hartosh. Don’t cry.


Rajdeep had the good sense to delete this tweet, but other people took screenshots that will of course live forever on Twitter. The “Republic of Fear and Hate”? Sounds to me like you are the one gripped by all the fear and all the hate.

That an unborn baby could be seen as arch villain in Lutyens Delhi says something truly pathetic about the immaturity and insecurity of the elite media. It also brings back some images from Hindu scriptures. Just saying.

Of course, it is all about the elite media being revealed for the crybaby it really is. For years, the cozy little ruling class controlled the flow of information. The process of high-fiving and backslapping continued unabated; the government favors, the selective leaks, the palace intrigue and the Padma awards flowed freely.

Then social media came along. A bunch of ordinary people armed with blogs, tweets and Facebook posts began to take on multi-million dollar corporations. The sulking and whining that followed from elite media will always be a legend. On any given day, it is not uncommon to find an anchor of a prime-time TV news show complain that s/he can’t get his voice heard because of Twitter trolls. When such a pity party is set up, the other anchors on prime-time news shows all gather around her/him to make a show of solidarity and console the victim of the day. Too many people disagreeing with self proclaimed journos on Twitter. There ought to be a law!

And now they are whining about Republic. Because they sense another threat to their monopoly. For years, elite journos have accused the so called “Bhakts” of having a persecution complex. Come on media, take one on the chin! Arnab is throwing you a challenge. Why frantically dig up dirt on who is investing in what? Do you really want people to start digging up who your investors are? Do you really want people to start asking about the financial history of your companies? Seriously, just stop calling the kettle black.

As a certified “Bhakt”, I am glad to see the media whine and moan and trying to “expose the bias” of Arnab Goswami. Awesome. Now you know how it feels to be at the receiving end of some bias. Bear in mind that Republic hasn’t aired for even one second yet. The Lutyens media is screaming purely out of panic fear.

Of course Arnab claims to be “neutral”. Just like NDTV. They made “neutral” into an Orwellian term. Now it’s coming back to bite them. Let the whining begin.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  
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