For decades Lutyens media has had a vice-like grip over the news and opinions that would be fed to the unsuspecting people of India. That’s why the politicians, police, academia, activists, judiciary, business community and literally everyone who matters in the power corridors, would be at their beck and call. This clutch was so powerful that they were involved even in negotiating and delivering ministerial berths for their friends and others for mutual benefits. It was an ecosystem that had been developed to help each other remain forever in the India’s most elite power corridors. They would among themselves share the awards, plush positions in the multitude of government bodies, free global travels on the exchequer’s expenses and have an opportunity to network with global who’s who.
Lutyens would on behalf of a selected few business friends, broker and deliver policy changes again for mutual benefits. They would have prior information on any changes in the administrative setup or policy to be able to inform friends beforehand to take advantage. They with their powerful friends in ministries could stall or effect changes in the bureaucracy. With all of this in their control, you can imagine the power this Lutyens cabal wielded in the old political structure of India.
So in short the Lutyens had the two most deadly weapons in their hand, one is the direct access to power and the other being ability to set the narrative. They were a power unto themselves.
Then in 2014 Shri Narendra Modi was elected as the PM of India. This cabal thought, like the earlier BJP PM Shri A B Vajpayee they would manage PM Modi too without much change in either their access to the power structure or the influence on the agenda setting. While PM Modi’s style was known to most from his earlier days as the CM of Gujarat but they thought like Vajpayee he too would succumb, as it was very difficult for central governments to freely function without the active support of this cabal. They have the power to make anyone’s life miserable who is not beholden to them.
But they were in for a rude shock because PM Modi like his earlier self would function with absolutely no interference in the administration of his government. He refused to show any special privileges to anyone especially this cabal and entertain them in the governmental power play. This completely stopped their free access to himself, his office and to his ministers and thereby discouraging any form of cronyism. He broke another convention from earlier times by not taking these Lutyens journalists on government expenses for his official trips. He only took the ones designated by the state owned media along. His style of communicating is to talk directly to the people either through “address to the nation”, “select interviews”, “press releases” or through social media but certainly not through planting stories in the mainstream media. In effect he severed the Lutyens connection to the power corridors of Delhi.
While through these actions PM Modi’s had totally cut the Lutyens’ access to administrative power structure but they still wielded the ability to set the narrative through their established media networks nationally and internationally. In fact you would have seen how they spun some spurious incidents unconnected to BJP or Hindus to church attacks, cow vigilantism and eventually calling it fascism and Hindutva hegemony. There was a lot of mainstream media coverage to show India and especially Hindus in bad light just because Modi government is made to be projected as pro-Hindu by this cabal. There were multitudes of their compatriots in academia and activist community seen returning their awards to project India’s image as intolerant. So even after being far removed from the access to power they still showed their tenacity by setting a false narrative to embarrass the Modi government, everywhere they could.
Then in 2017 Arnab Goswami started the Republic Media Network (RMN) and launched his English news channel first and then Republic Bharat as its Hindi news channel later. Because of his credibility as a journalist and having singlehandedly established Times Now as number one channel in past, his RMN quickly rose the TRP ranks to take the number one position. In the English news segment this wasn’t too unexpected even for Lutyens because of his earlier track record. But then a few months back his Republic Bharat replaced the erstwhile undisputed leader over the last few decades in Hindi news segment, channel Aaj Tak as the number one position in the Hindi segment too. Hindi news has never been a comfortable area for Arnab because of his earlier experience with only English media and probably his difficulties in Hindi as a language.
Arnab Goswami has been a sworn nationalist and he has never made any qualms of neutrality when it comes to the interest of the nation versus anything else. With his incisive investigations and very powerful style of debating he has been a thorn in the dealings of so many anti-national forces operating within and outside India. While many feel that his debates are noisy, perhaps even to me sometimes but the presentation of his argument is extremely sharp and clear. He knows how to reach out to his audience and even in his fledgling Hindi he makes the points very precisely that deliver the intended impact. That is the reason why people of India keep watching him and thereby making him undoubtedly India’s number one anchor running India’s number one news network.
First he won over the English speaking city viewers and then the vast populations of Hindi hinterland from the Lutyens that they believed were sole preserve of theirs alone. He has in effect dealt a death knell to the Lutyens monopoly for decades over the consumption of content fed to ordinary citizens. He has snatched from them the grip over what news to be shown and what to be ignored. He has removed the only great power that they were left with, that of setting the narrative after PM Modi’s actions had already removed their access to power structures of government.
The unholy nexus between various entities be it media, politicians, academia, judiciary, bureaucracy, entertainment, police and mafia is being exposed every day, no doubt it makes them very uncomfortable. Rest of the country is also waking up to the shenanigans of this cabal as they are being exposed everyday by Republic TV and on Social Media by others too. With both ‘access to power’ and ‘narrative setting’ gone from their clutches, the Lutyens has been reduced to an irrelevant bunch.
It is therefore not too hard to understand why Arnab Goswami and his network are hated by them.