If one was to choose between a fire-crackers and Samsung Note7, people would place their bet on the latter, being confident it would burst.
Similarly, if one was to between a loud speaker and Arnab Goswami, people would choose the latter again, being confident it would start working for at least 2 hours every weekday, 9pm-11pm.
Times Now Studio.
It’s 9pm and “the entire nation” is tuned to the channel. It’s their primetime show, the Times Now Debate.
The topic of discussion – “MP’s salary hike!”
Nearly 15 people have tweeted in favour of Arnab, the showstopper. That’s the total tally too.
On the panel are 6 eminent personalities – 4 (1 Ruling Party Spokesperson, 1 opposition party leader, 1 professor from a high profile B-School & a political ally) in favour of the directive, and 2 (1 failed Bollywood celebrity “Roshan Ab Bas Kar” & a random Indian citizen) against the motion.
The show goes live on air and there is complete silence.
“MPs are public servants. They have been chosen to serve the nation. If MPs have a personal agenda they should go and start their own venture”, shouts the emotional random Indian citizen.
All 4 in favour of the directive smirk.
“MP’s should take a pay cut” yells Roshan Ab Bas Kar, “I’m done, I have enacted what the script demanded. I need my salary.”
The professor abruptly ends messaging on his cellphone and stares at the camera, and says, “Amongst the top 10 nations in the world, Indian MPs are the lowest paid, we also have the lowest count of MPs per citizen. Big reason to worry.”
The opposition party leader nods in favour, “Do you know this salary correction should be passed on to the MLAs too. Mr. Ruling Party Spokesperson, I’m not an MP anymore.”
It’s strange to note that this Newshour Debate has been very different than the previous ones.
The ruling party spokesperson starts of with his rhetoric, “Indian MPs are the lowest paid globally. Please note Indian MPs are lowest paid globally…..”
He forgets to switch off his mike, he turns to his secretary sitting behind the camera and asks, “As per the script shared with me two days ago, I was supposed to be cut short here, Mujhe toh iske aage kuch aata hi nahi hai, Arnab ney bola tha woh sambhal lega.”
His secretary replies, “Sir, he is currently servicing Notice Period”
Unlike the other days, the political ally shouts, “Notice Period mey leaves… The nation whats to know where is Arnab now?”
Things are clearly falling apart at the studio.
An individual can never be bigger than an organization. But Arnab was definitely a Brand bigger than the Channel, holding things together.
Only time will tell if Times Now will be the same again.