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Arnab Goswami's devil's dance

| by B. Raman

( June 28, 2012, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) I understand Arnab Goswami of the Times Now news channel is an increasingly viewed news anchor of India today.

I am not surprised.

Ever since he started his 9 PM daily news programme, people no longer have to go to night clubs and bars for their evening excitement.

They get it in ample measure by watching his daily debates on the important news of the day.

It may not be appropriate to call them debates.

What he serves the viewers is a veritable Devil’s Dance--- with no histrionics barred.

The more hysterical you are, the more valued you are by Arnab.

It is immaterial whether you know the subject, whether you have insights and whether you analyse lucidly.

What is important is your ability to add to the colour and excitement of his Devil’s Dance.

Things like Netiquette, politeness, courtesy, patience to let others speak, decorum, gravitas are not important.

It is not a debate, it is an exciting performance.

You can do anything so long as you attract viewers.

You can scream.

You can shout.

You can pull your hair and that of others.

You can try to monopolise the show by not letting others speak.

Not much is intelligible because everybody speaks and shouts at the same time.

As in some Greek shows where the author also joins the play as an active participant, Arnab is not just an anchor.

He also joins others in their histrionics.

There is never a dull moment in Arnab’s Devil’s Dance.

Even if there is no exciting news, Arnab manages to produce excitement out of what is available.

And when exciting news is available, Arnab keeps his viewers enthralled.

For the last three days, Indian TV news channels, which were going through the summer silly season, have found something exciting to show and talk about following the arrest of Abu Jundal, a co-conspirator of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, by the Saudi authorities and his transfer to Indian custody.

You can depend on Arnab to make the best out of the excitement.

His Devil’s Dance, full of anti-Pakistan histrionics, has acquired a new excitement, a new rhythm and new drum-beats.

Many retired spooks are happily joining the Devil’s Dance every day.

You can save money on going to bars and night clubs and instead watch Arnab’s show at 9 PM every night.

Nothing like it seen on Indian TV before.

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India )

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