Saturday, 3 June 2017

Return of The Prodigal

First it was the hoardings, then the front page advertisements in newspapers of a well known bespectacled and smug face. For the first time I noticed he has a mole on his forehead. 

After a hiatus of six months, post-truth icon Arnab Goswami was coming back to TV screens, and his fans began feeling giddy and delirious. With their echo chamber bereft of its favourite nightingale, they were battling cold turkey conditions all these months.

After all how long can one make do with cheap imitations like Gaurav Sawant! Even during his earnest display of machismo (being clad in battle fatigues at newsroom) Gaurav seemed like Ben Stiller trying to pass off as Rambo Sylvester Stallone. 

Now the fans wanted to make up for the lost opportunities of the inimitable Arnab fix that transports them to a feel good delirium. His force multiplier vocal cords, which he uses to decimate Pakistani panelists, were sorely missed while the country was going through tumultuous events such as surgical strikes, demonetisation and UP elections.

As the launch date of the Republic TV channel approached the hype was gradually built up. His fans regrouped under various hashtag battle formation across all social media platforms, ready to blow Republic's trumpet and pounce on detractors in a manner which would make even Goebbels blush.

True to the hype he began from where he left off. For fans and worshippers their echo chamber was once again vibrant with the hyper-ventilating jingoism they were addicted to. The template continues to be same: Find an 'other' and attack him or her in a pack, never allow them to put their views across. What amazes me is how some of the panellists, especially the Pakistanis, even agree to appear for the show considering its pointlessness.

So finally it is achche din for the fans, with onerous tasks like trolling (read act like keyboard lynch mobs, intimidate and even issue rape threats) the detractors and playing cheerleader to the anchor thrown in. For them he remains the minstrel of utmost happiness!

Also Read: Bangalore Beat