The making of a true Journalist
Ravish Kumar, a popular or rather notorious left-wing-leaning former journalist, has now transformed himself into an unemployed "YouTuber" by his own will. And thereafter, he has been on a perpetual chest-thumping rant, running across every left-wing YouTube channel, declaring himself to be the greatest journalist to ever grace us, peasants, here on earth with his mere existence. But why is he doing this? Why did Adani buy a 26% stake in NDTV, and why did it rub Rubbish in such a wrong way, causing a monumental outrage from the entire Lutyen’s Media "Wine Sipping Khan Market" gang? Let’s find out.
So the plot here is fairly simple. Kumar (the hero of his own story, obviously) joined the New Delhi Television Network (NDTV) in 1996 and has been associated with its channels since. He enjoyed an uninterrupted smooth sailing experience from ’96 to '99, just like Spotify Premium, because he never had to speak the truth to power for reasons unknown to mankind. But unfortunately, this peace couldn’t last long when Atal Bihari Vajpayee became India’s Prime Minister. For the next 5 years, Kumar voraciously spoke truth to power because the people in power were his ideological enemies. Much to Ravish's relief, Manmohan Singh, from the Indian National Congress, became Prime Minister under the UPA government in 2004, with Madam Sonia Gandhi's blessing, implying that he could take a five-year hiatus from speaking truth to power. As the years passed, scam after scam occurred; various leaders were imprisoned; many were bailed; and many were convicted; but Kumar remained calm and serene, much like Gautama Buddha, because, as an old saying goes, "comrades never speak truth to power another comrade." To his surprising delight, Singh is King made his return in 2009, this time around with the groundbreaking slogan "Thank You, Sonia Ji."
During the initial years of the 2010s, so many scams ensued that scams eventually became the norm, from CWG to 2G to Coalgate, and the entire world was spitting on India for being such an unabashedly and shamelessly corrupt nation. Foreign relations became problematic, and India’s image in the West was tarnished beyond repair. Ravish Ji was in Rishikesh for those 5 years practicing ancient meditation techniques in someone’s godi, so his opinions on these issues couldn’t be recorded.
But in 2014, something devastating took place. The villain of this story, "Enter Narendra Damodardas Modi" (dun-dun-dun), defeats Congress rather serendipitously, becomes the Prime Minister, and makes his inauspicious entry into our hero’s life. Disappointed, Kumar had to make an unsavory comeback, one he wasn't prepared for, ready to speak truth to power once more. The years rolled on, and scams stopped happening. This made Kumar unhappy (insert unhappy face emoji here), but Ravish never let an opportunity go to waste; he made mountains out of molehills to justify his needlessly fat paycheck from NDTV, so when demonetization happened, Raja Ravish made a prediction. He predicted that lakhs of people are going to die on the streets of India due to demonetization as they don’t have access to digital methods of payment. His predictions failed miserably, but if we look at it from a post-modern lens, we figure that there is nothing such as true or false; these are all social constructs. In reality, everything is relative, and there are multiple truths, so in a parallel universe, Ravish’s predictions might have come true, and that is all that matters. Cut to 2019, Modi wins again, and now with an even bigger margin, Ravish hides in his house and designs a makeshift remote studio to protect himself from the dangers of the political world.
Next year, when COVID knocked on our doors, Raja Ji lay dormant in his humble south Delhi flat to protect his old geriatric self from the virus while forcing his junior reporters to go and roam on the streets when the virus was at its frightening peak. "Real journalism," huh? Various things happened in between CAA-NRC protests, the Shaheen Bagh conundrum, COVID's arrival, and an oxygen supply shortage. Kumar took as much political leverage out of this as he could. Farm laws came, protests happened, and Ravish incited people against the government as much as possible. In 2022, Prannoy Roy puts NDTV (nicknamed RNDTV) up for sale because no one wants to watch it anymore; they are stuck in stupendous amounts of debt and they've been kicked out of the BARC ratings, which they once dominated. Roy had a business mind and did what was right for the business at that time. Adani, being the billionaire that he is, bought a meager 26% stake in it. The day NDTV was diluted, Ravish started his ego-fueled rant against the Indian Government; according to him, the Prime Minister is frightened of him to such an extent that he asked Adani, his long-time friend, to buy NDTV and get Ravish fired. Ravish genuinely thinks that such a long plan was conspired just to get him fired from his 9 p.m. daily rant against the government, which gathered all 5 viewers, namely himself, his wife, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and his watchman. From Ravish’s perspective, Modi waited 12 years from 2002 to become the prime minister and then laid the formal groundwork for the next 8 years. He then asked Adani to buy a stake in NDTV and hoped that Ravish would quit out of shame. He loves to play the victim card; it’s his hobby. While giving interviews to the BBC and Ajit Anjum, he has made it a point to mention how helpless and downtrodden he is and how oppressive the government is. Even though he had a salary of roughly 12 lakh rupees per month when he left, the drama of "I will be homeless now" still isn’t subsiding. He has championed the art of self-victimization and self-appreciation at the same time.
According to Ravish, Adani spent north of 500 crores just to get him fired too, even though the owners of the company had no issues selling it. Owners have no issues, buyers have no issues—what did Ravish have to do in all of this? He is not a stakeholder in this company, he had nothing to lose, and no one asked him to quit; in fact, the day this acquisition story broke, Ravish went on air proclaiming that "You can buy NDTV, but you can never buy me." Cut to two months later in an interview with a massively unknown personality, Ajit Anjum, and Ravish reveals that he "had" to leave NDTV because he was forced to; two and two don’t add up here, but anyways, Ravish was never known for his logical abilities. One of the key issues Ravish keeps on raising is that the government has bought the media in this country and that everyone is "Godi" media, but rarely does he ever speak of his long tenure during the UPA days, when not a single day went by without a news story on some sort of scam. Ravish knows the business of Godi media intricately because he has had prior experience in this regard; he was in the Godi of the Congress regime when they used to rule the country, and now he is butthurt because he isn’t. Not only does he forget journalists from other news channels, but he also doesn’t even consider his colleagues to be of any significance. Journalists like Nidhi Razdhan (an imaginary Harvard emeritus) or other undercover Congress agents like Sanket Upadhyay or Sreenivasan Jain are not proper journalists. All in all, the limited psychology that I have been made familiar with tells me that Raja ji is suffering from an acute form of schizophrenia; delusions of persecution are a subset of it, which often lead to people feeling that the entire world is against them or that the entire world is spying or conspiring against them.
Ravish is also a known narcissist; he is "suffering from success" just like DJ Khaled, and he has gone on record multiple times declaring that he is the best journalist in Indian news media. Sushant Sinha, a fellow ex-NDTV colleague, revealed Kumar’s level of derangement; a screaming testimony to this is the fact that he once asked his Managing Editor to keep his face on camera for a longer period during an interview with Amitabh Bachchan because people nowadays like and recognize "me" more than Bachchan Ji. He suffers from what I call the "messiah" syndrome. He is a messiah on TV; he challenges Modi to appear as if he is the protagonist and Modi the antagonist, but refrains from acting as a real one when circumstances demand so. Sushant Sinha revealed how he was fired from NDTV and once requested Ravish Kumar to stand up for him, but Kumar refused. Kumar is massively self-absorbed and treats his co-journalists with contempt, according to Sinha.
Sinha has also brought out some extremely plausible instances, one of them being when a video editor from NDTV begged Ravish to stand with him and defend him against his superiors; Ravish allegedly folded his hands, sat in his car, and pulled the windows down, leaving the man to himself in tears. Instances like this speak to Kumar’s motives and intent; the pretentious character he plays at 9 p.m. isn’t who he is as a person; the social activism and social justice are restricted to creating a false persona and masquerading as a social revolutionary, whereas in real-life circumstances he blindly ignores confrontation, especially when it’s against his superiors. Sinha also revealed that at the time he used to work with NDTV, the Managing Editor once came out and asked all employees to stop mentioning the word "martyr" whenever describing a dead soldier as they are paid to die for the country and don’t deserve to be called martyrs. Though this speaks of the level of deracination in NDTV offices, one can expect that such pseudo-intellectual preachers won’t give two hoots about the people who die on our borders. Such a crass statement from the boss inspired many confrontations, and many even left their jobs, but Ravish kept quiet throughout this entire saga; not one word erupted from his mouth, neither in support nor in denial—such was his selfishness and fear of losing his job.
His theoretical ideas rarely make a shift into our pragmatic reality. On camera, he is a self-described revolutionary, but off camera, he fears for his job to such an extent that he even denies fighting for a co-worker’s job. On camera, he challenges Modi to appear indomitable and valiant, but off camera, he cowers behind a lamp like a wet cat just to protect his job. This split personality disorder is also something that catches one’s eye, which can then be further linked to this charade of "honest" or "real" journalism. There is a certain lobby in Lutyens’s Delhi who believe themselves to be the gatekeepers of what true journalism is; these are people like Barkha Dutt, Karan Thapar, or Rajdeep Sardesai who have taken upon themselves this self-pledged onus of lecturing the public on how and what true journalism entails, even though frankly they have done nothing but sit in the godi of the Gandhi family throughout their professional careers. They still possess the sheer audacity of calling other media houses and journalists "Godi" media. Dive into history and find a single column or article written where they had the audacity to speak truth to power to the Congress government, just as they do now. He loves taking the moral high ground, and his "free speech" is getting stifled, but Modi waited 8 years patiently to stifle him. Even when he came on "Primetime" at 9 PM sharp every weekday for 8 years straight, the show was dedicated almost entirely to highlighting how everyone is a fake journalist and how bad the current government is, and of course to abusing Modi left, right, and center for about an hour.
His ideological companions have written innumerable articles praising and glorifying the Gandhi family, you can find at least 10 India Today magazine’s over the past decade with the cover page reading “Rahul Gandhi Has Now Finally Come of Age”, what is this if not a desperate attempt to announce Rahul Gandhi as an amazing politician? Or to whitewash his “Pappu” image and give him a new personality. But no, this isn’t comparable to being a “Godi” journalist, because they visit fancy restaurants and drink Scottish whisky, unlike us plebs. Their persistently flippant attitude tells you how much they care about the “social justice” they lecture the public about. The issue here isn’t that a section of journalists today are extremely biased and don’t criticize the government, because that has always been the case since time immemorial. They take jibes at other journalists for being sellouts, but they never had the guts to speak against the Gandhi family when they used to be in power. Since independence there has existed a certain privileged section of people who were fluent in English and used that to their advantage, they got close to politicians and formed alliances with them, planning and plotting whom to criticize and whom to not criticize, they once used to sit in the administrative offices at South Block and decide whom to elect.
The issue here is that those golden days are gone; those government bungalows aren’t being allotted to them anymore; those tax remissions aren’t provided, a different party is ruling the country and those benefits have been largely reduced, the vituperation and the bitterness with which these leftist journalists operate clearly tells you how hateful, frustrated and cynical they are and the reason for it. They scoff at Indian languages, as if it’s inferior to them, they celebrate when our soldiers die in the valley because it gives them a reason to scrutinize the Indian government. Not a single self-proclaimed honest journalist spoke out against the communal post-poll violence in West Bengal against the BJP workers, deaths matter to them only if there’s a caste angle that can be vitalized to demonize the Hindus. The death of a Muslim is capitalized on and used as cannon fodder to vilify ordinary Hindus for days on end, but when it’s the other way around. The headline suddenly becomes “One Man Killed”, but by whom? You’ll never get to know. This is real journalism.
Hide the facts, twist the story, indulge in fear-mongering and demonize the people, guilt-trip them into believing that the country is burning. You must be familiar with Mr. Kumar’s famous words “Darr Ka Mahaul Hai”, what does this suggest? My issue with him has never been related to his political allegiances, we all have different ones. It isn’t even concerned with his obsequious sycophancy with the Congress party, it’s with the pretense of “I am an honest journalist, not only that, I am the only honest journalist”, this theatrical exclusivity of believing that I am the only one who is true and sincere and all others are bought and paid for is what provokes me. This idea that anyone who doesn’t agree with each and everything that I say is a “Bhakt” is extremely polarising and divisive. For all the unity they preach, communalism is what they follow, they are radicals in the truest sense of the word. Their hopes are utopian and they think that everything wrong with this country has occurred exclusively after 2014 and that before it we were living in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. His organization NDTV specializes in whitewashing Rahul's image and twisting news stories to give it a Hindu-Bad, Muslim-Good angle. He is tremendously self-contradicting in his nature as well. On one hand, he is fearless, but on the other hand, he left his job even before anyone asked him to.
Their entire clique is sanctimonious in their attitudes and their expressions; they condescend to the general public just the way a king looks down upon his people. They consider themselves to be morally superior, never reflecting on their past wrongdoings or current immoral actions. Barkha Dutt once justified the Kashmiri Hindu genocide by simply attributing it to the Marxist connotation of "class difference," where one class holds authority over the other and the other one perishes, eventually leading to a revolution or a war against the privileged. Ravish doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of a race of displaced and wronged Hindu people who once belonged to their native valleys in Kashmir.
Free speech is another contentious subject. For it only matters to leftists as long as it is related to the person's ideological bents, so when Zubair goes to jail, the motion suddenly becomes how "the Indian Government is stifling free speech and expression," but when the managing editor of India’s biggest media company i.e., Arnab Goswami goes to jail for obviously trumped up charges, not a single gatekeeper stands up with him. This is a glaring statement; it screams and testifies that their version of free speech is a charade. You’ll know how much these leftist elitists care about freedom of speech from this one instance: the day Arnab was sent to Taloja Jail, Barkha Dutt went on a Livestream on YouTube where she said, and I quote, "I want to have an ice cream today; I am so happy."
That’s why I implore Ravish Kumar and his entire ilk of self-proclaimed honest and brave journalists to kindly let their hair down, look at themselves in the mirror, and realize themselves for the massively duplicitous, dubious, hypocritical, and biassed individuals that they are. The "unbiased" routine is getting a bit old now; everyone knows your tactics. Speaking fluent English, wearing tailor-made suits from Italy, or sipping French wine doesn’t absolve you from being the helplessly narcissistic and snobbish scum that you are. Being biased towards a different side doesn’t make you unbiased, it just makes you biased. Contrarily, there is a difference between being objective and being "unbiased," because no human can be unbiased; we all have vested interests and things we prefer more than others. So wake up, smell the coffee, give yourselves a tight slap, do something impactful for once in your lives and please stop this self-deprecation drama.