Bharat Samachar TV News Channel: The way our country is being run is what is needed

Bharat Samachar TV News Channel: The way our country is being run is what is needed

cobrapost |
May 25, 2018

The channel sends a proposal of three crores for a purported Hindutva campaign

Ashish Anand, Marketing and Sales Head; Brajesh Mishra, Editor-in-Chief and Owner, Bharat Samachar TV News Channel, Lucknow

A new kid on the block, Bharat Samachar TV was launched barely a year before by Brajesh Mishra, former editor-in-chief of ETV Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand. The channel broadcasts Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand-specific news and current affairs programmes. The channel telecasts its programmes from Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, with its bureaus in Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Meerut, Noida and Agra.

Here, Pushp Sharma met Marketing and Sales Head Ashish Anand who did not take much prodding to dance to his tune. As usual, he tells him that the first three months of his media campaign will focus on soft Hindutva by playing the preaching of Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna, appealing the electorate to support their religion. Then, after this initial phase, our campaign would shift gear to polarize the political scenario during election time so that our party is able to harvest political dividend out of the campaign. We hear Anand utter a crisp “Hoon.”

Finding him to be receptive of his agenda, the journalist now asks him to promote the speeches and events related to firebrand Hindutva leaders like Umar Bharati, Vinay Katiyar and Mohan Bhagwat on their digital platform. “Koi diqqat nahi hai unki jab bhi hogi na toh humare digital platform par wo show … upload ho jayega (There is no problem at all. Whenever there is an occasion that will be shown … uploaded on our digital platform),” assures the marketing head of Bharat Samachar TV. Telling him that he will give him a 28-minute long videos showing seven major events of Independent India, including the wars of 1965 and 1971, immolation bid by Rajiv Goswami in the wake of implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations in 1989, the Ayodhya movement, the fall of 13 day Vajpayee government, the Godhra riots in 2002 and finally the arrival of Modi on national scene, the journalist asks Anand to package the content in a manner that it does not look stark or overtly biased. Besides these 3 minute long videos we have jingles on Pappu and Behanji. You have to bash our rivals such as Pappu and Behanji and their parties Congress, BSP and SP by creating and playing such content as those jingles. Asking the client the journalist to send him those jingles on his WhatsApp, Anand dutifully keeps on noting down all the points of his clients agenda, nodding his head here and there.

After discussing all important points of his agenda with Anand, the journalist now told him that his ashram receives donations often in cash, they would like to part pay in cash. “Humm, cash,” says Anand in an accommodating manner. Telling the client that they have no problem to livestream the Ganga arati on their digital platform, Anand says: “Uma Bharati Didi aur Vinayji ka … Bhagwatji ka Kalyanji ka inka jo bhi hoga jab bhi kahin koi statement denge wo hum platform par apna laga denge (Whenever and wherever Uma Bharati, Vinayji [Katiyar], [Mohan] Bhagwat and Kalyanji [Kalyan Singh] have any programme or issue any statement we will carry that on our digital platform).” Anand thus agrees to give coverage to the visits or speeches of these four leaders. He goes on to ask: “Accha ismein aap humein jo TV par jo humein news ke format jaaye toh usmein aap humse kya chah rahe hain (Okay, tell me if you want all that content to run on TV in news format? What do you expect from us)?”

It is up to you to lend whatever support you can secure from your editorial department, he is told. “Jo support hum kar sakein (You mean whatever support we can lend you)?” says Anand while understanding what their client is looking for.

It was clear from this meeting with the marketing head of Bharat Samachar TV that the channel would be happy to lend editorial support to develop content according to our agenda, Pushp Sharma saw Anand again in his Lucknow office wherein Anand revealed that he has discussed the agenda with his boss who has agreed to run on his channel. Referring to his boss Brajesh Mishra, Anand now informs us: “Maine kal sab discussion kar liya tha unse bhai sahib se toh keh rahe the theek hai no problem wo hee wali baat humari aapki wali (I had done all discussion yesterday with him … [yes I mean] with Bhai sahib [Brajesh Mishra]. He said no problem the same way as I had told you).”

You tell me your boss was comfortable with my agenda, asks the journalist. “Haan comfortable the (Yes, he was comfortable),” replies Anand. He goes on to add: “Kal maine aapka sab suna tha … jingles wagaireh sab bahut zabardast tha (Yesterday I heard all … those jingles. That was really fantastic).” Yes this is how we will bash our rivals with love, the journalist says. There is no use of using foul language. Anand is all praise for the approach: “Tareeqa bhi wahi hai tareeqa yahi hai ismein koi if and but nahi hai (Yes that is the right method … this is the right method … there is no if and but there in it).” When the journalist informs him that such more jingles are ready to be run on FM radio which is a easier way to communicate, Anand informs us: “Haan nahi apan ka toh kya hai ek baar sab cheejein fix ho jayengi theek hai toh wo toh aapka arati toh hum kara hee denge … lekin jo aur jo cheejein aap humein bata rahe the na toh wo fir uss hisab se plan out karte rahenge … main concern toh ussi ka hai na (Yes, no. When all things are fixed, we will broadcast arati but all those things that you asked for we will plan out … that is your main concern).”

Sometime later, his boss Brajesh Mishra joins in the meeting. As the client the journalist tells him the deal will be finalized soon and it looks like he too is a supporter of the cause, Mishra leaves nothing to imagination: “Arre nahi poori madad karnege aapki aap jo bologe kara denge aisi koi baat nahi hai … hum bhi chahte hain cheejein theek rahein … iss samay jis tareh se chal raha hai desh ye desh ko zaroorat hai iss tareh se chalne kee kyon peechle hum log 15–20 saalon se dekh rahe the ki desh aur pradesh dono bahut dheela aur aniyantrit aur bikhra hua chal raha tha bikhra hua sabhi kshetra mien chahe wo aarthik ho chahe wo samajik ho rajneetik ho sabhi kshetra mein bikhra hua tha … ab kum se kum ek vichardhara kee cheejein chalengi desh mein aur ye rahni chahiye taaki inka jo vision hai desh ko kya positive de raha hai ye reflect hona chahiye (No, we will support you fully. Whatever you ask for I will get it done. There is no issue at all. I also want things to remain fine … the way our country is being run is what is needed because we have all been observing for the past 15–20 years that both the country and the state [Uttar Pradesh] were being run in a very loose, uncontrolled and scattered manner. Every aspect was scattered be it economic, social or political, everything was scattered. Now, things will run according to an ideology [Hindutva] and this should be sustained, and what their vision is and what positive they are giving to the country should be reflected).” What Mishra is saying is obvious: he is all there for promoting a single ideology, that is, Hindutva, and the present-day government both at centre and at the state.

The journalist tells Mishra it was simply a courtesy call. While Anand says, “Aur toh sab baat ho hee gai hai (And then everything has already been discussed [with Mishra]),” his boss expresses his thanks in these words: “Accha laga aapse milke … aur iske liye bahut shukriya (It was good to see you … many thanks).” At this point, their client the journalist raises the ad spend for their channel from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crore. “Haan wo toh maine aapko bhej diya (I have sent you that [proposal]),” Anand informs. No, increase the budget to Rs. 3 crore, the journalist tells him. “Teen ka bhej de raha hoon (I will send you [the proposal] for Rs. 3 crore).” Affection is all what I am looking for from you, Sir, the journalist is effusive in his appreciation. Mishra reciprocates in the spirit of bonhomie: “Aapne toh mehsoos kar liya. Bahut accha laga aapse milke ([Hope]You have felt that [affection]. It was a great pleasure meeting you).” The rest of the things I shall settle with your colleague, the journalist tells him. “Haan … Aap aur ye jo nirnay kar lenge humein sweekar hai sab (yes, and whatever you and he [Anand] decide, I shall accept that),” Mishra assures their client.

As soon as this sweet and short meeting with the owner of Bharat Samachar is over, the journalist turns to Anand asking him if he had discussed his Hindutva agenda threadbare with his boss. “Bata diya tha … sab bata diya jitna bhi likha tha. Usmein koi ghalat nahi hai (I had told him … I had told him all what I had noted down. There is nothing wrong in that [agenda]),” replies Anand to reassure their client. That is great, the journalist tells him, and you can start bashing our rivals by this summer. He informs us further: “Haan wo bhi jingle wagaireh sab suna diye aapke ... haan (Yes, I have played those jingles to him as well … yes).” Have you also discussed with him about the payment in 60:40 cash? We will receive bill only against the amount which will be paid by cheque. The journalist tells him. Assures Anand: “Haan … wo nishchint rahiye (Yes … don’t worry about that).” Tell me where to drop the money, the journalist says, my man will deliver the same. “Wo koi diqqat nahi hai (There is no problem),” he hear him say. It is fine, says the journalist.

The next moment, Anand makes a revelation: “Hum in sab mamle mein bahut saksham hain bahut election nikaal diye (We all are quite capable in all such matters. We have seen through many elections [campaigns]).” We now know Team Bharat Samachar is an old hand and knows well all tricks of the trade. Before this revealing meeting with Anand comes to an end, the marketing head of the TV channel makes one more confession: “Aap agar ETV mein bhi baat karenge toh wo bhi kahenge wo he eek aadmi tha bas (If you approach ETV even those fellows will acknowledge that yes there was this man).”

Nothing could assure you more than statements such as these that Team Bharat Samachar will not abjure from any malicious agenda for two reasons: First, they swear by the ideology of Hindutva. Second, the deal will bring them a windfall helping them to laugh their way to the bank.

Bharat Samachar TV News Channel response

We have not yet received any response from the Group to the detailed questionnaire we have sent them regarding the investigation, till 4 pm, 25th May, 2018. In case they do send in their reply, we shall update it in the next few days or weeks.

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