The Magsaysay award winning anchor says he is not like others who land from an aeroplane but seek empathy by saying that he was selling tea
NEW DELHI – “Namaskar, I’m Ravish Kumar. You guessed me right what I am going to say with you. But I request you to listen to what I’m going to say with patience. There was never a period in India’s journalism which can be called “Golden Period”. There was not even “The Destructive Period” like today. The destructive period, I mean, is that a period when all qualities are being destroyed…In this country, there are innumerable channels but all of them are ‘Godi Media’ (Subservient Media).”
This is what the Magsaysay award winning journalist, Ravish Kumar, said in his first reaction to the developments that led to his resignation from the NDTV, the news channel he was associated with for 25 long years.
On Wednesday, Kumar suddenly resigned from the NDTV following the resignations of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy as directors of RRPR Holding Private Ltd (RRPR), the promoter group vehicle of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) after Adani group-owned Vishvapradhan Commercial (VCPL) took over the channel. Gautam Adani, one of the richest men in Asia, is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his reaction, uploaded on his official YouTube channel, Kumar, however, did not say it in so many words as to why he has resigned from the NDTV. However, given that Kumar has been a vocal critic of PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) throughout his stint at the NDTV, his continuation with the channel would have been impossible.
He has criticised most of the news channels for being subservient to the government and the powers that be calling them “Godi Media”. Kumar is also hailed for not being subservient to the government as other anchors and channels are in the contemporary situation.
In the 24-minutes video footage, Ravish lamented how journalism, its ecosystem and atmosphere have been destroyed by the people in power and the media which has become part of the government.
“Godi media and government want to impose their own definition on you. If you consider this definition as real, it means you are being misled,” he said.
Kumar said that he does not know how to say many things about the organisation he was associated with for over two decades. However, he said he had learnt and gained a lot of experience after working with his colleagues. He will talk about the NDTV sometime in future when he will be emotional. He said that he had joined NDTV as a translator. But for months, he was doing the job of differentiating the letters in the beginning. Then, he started reporting. He learnt a lot from his program ‘Ravish Ki Report’.
He said he does not seek sympathy from people who would say a man who was differentiating the letters has become a big anchor. He is not like others who land from the aeroplane but seek empathy by saying that he was selling tea.
He thanked people and viewers who helped him in reporting and gathering information for his reports. They also corrected his information and reprimanded him for making mistakes.
“Journalism is not alive in the media organisations any more, but it is alive among you,” Kumar said, lauding his viewers and supporters. He said he wants to remember his viewers more than NDTV today. “I’m proud of my viewers,” he said.
“I have seen you becoming jan (people of India). Tantra (system) can be killed but democracy is alive among the people. One day, these people will build up democracy. Some now believe that all the people are now under their control. There is no value in people. The Opposition and people have been finished off after destroying the media. This is true… but one day the very people will be fed up with the hateful atmosphere, they will look for new ground and remember a journalist. You will carve out you path to get rid of slavery of hatred,” said Kumar.