Introduction of T20 cricket was one of the revolutionary things happened to cricketing world. Cricket enthusiasts in general welcomed the shortest form of cricket. But idealists and purists don’t like it much. Bishan Singh Bedi, by his own admission, is not fan of T20 cricket. Michael Holding once said that T20 is destroying Test Cricket. But back then in 2007-08, after the enormously successful inaugural T20 world cup, cricketing boards were thinking about encashing this new euphoria and hence Indian Premier League (IPL), which is one of the most successful sports leagues in the world, was born. The rivalry to be first and best in T20 cricket league was so much that in fact, England Cricket Board (ECB) didn’t allow its players to participate in IPL. Nevertheless, the reality was, T20 was rapidly gaining popularity and was spreading the game of cricket to new nations. Not only that, it created more opportunities for cricketers to shine, it also crated new jobs. Kids got attracted to cricket.
The game itself had become more competitive. Professional cricketers had to acquire new skills and as a result, tests matches were played more positively, with ambition to dominate and win rather than just survive. After all this success, can anyone call T20 illegitimate? Is T20’s monetary success an indication of corruption? Does T20 have more fan following and stadium attendance due to some scam or malpractice? And finally, can anyone think of stopping T20 and yet keep game’s popularity alive? Only someone who is dishonest with the self can answer Yes to any of the above questions.
Now, let’s replace T20 with Republic Tv. Like T20, Republic Tv is not orthodox. Republic Tv was needed because the traditional form of journalism was becoming less effective. It was far from reality, far from what young and modern-day people were looking for. People were tired of journalists serving their own agenda than voicing public concerns. Radia Tapes and Cash for votes scams are proof for that. Journalists didn’t want to take side on live TV but would run campaigns to suit a particular line of thinking. Contrary to that, Republic Tv and Arnab Goswami are often seen to take sides unabashedly. Not just anchors, but even panelists feel completely free to voice their opinion on Republic Tv. Many people talk at the same time and that’s why it can get noisy. That’s one of the reasons why some people don’t prefer watching Republic Tv. It’s their choice. But there is a market for such type of reporting.
People like the fact that there is someone asking genuine and basic questions rather than intellectualizing debates. People like to see Arnab playing on front foot and hitting some of its panelists for sixes (btw he hit Sanjay Jha out of the stadium once). Make no mistake, Republic Tv is as popular as T20 Cricket among youngsters. Like T20, Republic Tv has created a market for itself through legitimate means. It has highest TRP and that’s why it is earning good money. It’s a bad omen for its competitors and that’s why they are out in open, opposing Republic Tv (remember ECB opposing IPL), asking their advertisers to stop sponsoring (and instead move to their own channels). Their jealousy was full on display the day Param Bir Singh held the controversial and infamous press conference.
Recently, Hon. Supreme Court asked Republic Tv to put on affidavit its concerns and responses for the various cases and complaints filed against it. Hopefully, SC will also look into the intent of these cases. Are they malicious? Who is behind it? Why is Republic Tv singled out? Is there any proof? Is any law being misused? Is any constitutional position being misused? If yes, can that person remain at that position of trust? At this juncture, if SC turns away Republic Tv, then it will be tantamount to chopping wings of a free bird before it learns to fly high on its own. Republic Tv cannot be stopped. It should not be stopped by those who don’t like it. Period.