Fear the Digital Indian!

In mid-2015, for nearly 15 days straight, I watched Arnab Goswami’s show every night. It was circumstantial. Someone else wanted to watch it and I just happened to be there. Then, it has its own way of sucking you in. Of course, I had seen it several times in the past too. But, as a 30 year old Indian, some of the things you never bothered about before suddenly seem important — like politics, freedom, economics and the general appeal of state-of-the-nation. And I made the mistake of watching the show for a couple of weeks. And I don’t even watch news on TV.

In any case, it fucked my mind.

Of course, below is one such splendid sample.

“You are a liar”, thunders Mr. Swamy. A statement he would echo a hundred times throughout the show.

Here was reality TV disguised (barely) under the garb of a news debate. Arnab, larger than life and perhaps inflated with a sense of immense righteousness, plays the same role as the guy who instigates drunk soccer fans into a pub-brawl. The participants, bravely defying logic and shame, would brawl verbally. After about a couple of hours with sore throats and the satisfaction of screaming on national TV, they leave.

Before it got funny, the show made me angry.

I slept angry and I had nightmares. It was affecting me personally. The reason was that the show touched topics that were significant and then proceeded to make a mockery of it.

I stopped watching it and immediately felt better. I was calmer and more empathetic — back to my usual self. I decided than that I would cut this bile from my life.