K News: Chairman agrees to promote Hindutva, firebrand Hindu leaders and polarize masses

K News: Chairman agrees to promote Hindutva, firebrand Hindu leaders and polarize masses

cobrapost |
May 25, 2018

If you can pay us in advance, we will leave nothing to be desired, says Chairman

Anurag Aggarwal, Chairman, K News, Kanpur

There is not much information available on K News, a regional channel operating out of Kanpur, with bureaus in Noida, Lucknow and Dehradun. The channel was started in 2015 by five promoters and Anurag Aggarwal is one of them. As the journalist began to brief Aggarwal of his Hindutva agenda and how the first three months will be a phase of test and trial for which his Sangathan has set aside a budget of Rs. 1.50 crore for their channel, which in fact is a regional channel, Aggarwal is prompt to say: “Bahut see cheejein hain Sir, agar aap advance karna chahe toh koi kami nahi hai (There are many things [we can do for you] Sir. If you can pay us in advance, we will leave nothing to be desired).”

It is fine with us, the journalist tells him. So, now let us discuss things in detail.

Creative team bahut strong hai Sir, matlab they are professionals (Our creative team is very strong Sir. I mean they are professional),” his colleague informs us equally promptly to assure us that creation of content will be taken care of by them. Aggarwal moves on to tell us how the ‘K Darshan’ programme on his channel can promote live Ganga aarati and such programmes from Gorakhnath temple. ‘K Darshan’ picks a Hindu temple at a time and describes its features, we are told.  

You mean, the journalist asks, you can package Hindutva this way. Agrees Aggarwal: “Wo cheejein kee jaa sakti hain poori team hai poori working hai (Yes, we can do all those things. We have a fully working team).” He then tells us that his channel came into being in 2013 and they have a digital platform as well. You see, we are targeting our media campaign basically for 2019 elections, the journalist tells him the purpose this whole exercise. After the first phase, we will take this deal to a higher level, and lock it for a period of one year.

Sensing a big, long-term business opportunity for his channel, Aggarwal is ready to peddle his client’s ideology in no uncertain words: “Hum logon ke saath bhi koi ideology  judti hai toh hum log bhi usko bada plan mein kar sakte hain dekhiye humare paas mein limited resources hain toh hum log limited chal rahe hain jab humare paas aisi sang mein backing aati hai toh hum usko expand bhi kar sakte hain humare liye expansion bahut bada wo nahi hai (If an ideology [like yours] is going to be associated with us, we can plan it in a big way. You see, we have limited resources. So, we are working in a limited way. When we will have this kind of backing, then we can expand accordingly. Expansion for us is not an issue).” Aggarwal is pinning high hopes!

Asking him to prepare a proposal to one of his co-pracharaks, the journalist tells Aggarwal that the entire business will be routed a third party. “Koi diqqat nahi (There is no problem),” Aggarwal is prompt to accept this bizarre demand. This is because, the journalist now explains the reason to him, we don’t want our relationship with this campaign to be established. “Nahi uske baad fir hum bhi aapko help nahi kar payenge. Jaise hee ye cheej khulti hai direct intake ho raha hai toh logon ka jo perception hai wo khatm ho jaata hai unko ye lagta hai unhi ka ho gaya hai (No, after that we too won’t be able to help you. As soon as such association comes to light that there is direct intake [of content and funds], the perception [you built so about yourself] among the people simply disappears and they begin to see you as belonging to them),” says Aggarwal concurring, He knows the pitfalls of this kind of agenda-driven journalism, as the first casualty of such practice is credibility.

That settled, the journalist now tells him that after the initial phase of religious promotion, the campaign will move on to the semi-political and from semi-political to aggressive Hindutva. Aggarwal is prompt to commit again: “Dekhiye humara funda clear hai agar aapse humara koi cheej associate hoti hai toh hum ek hee jageh stand lenge humara ye nahi ke idhar bhi ball khelenge aur udhar bhi ball khelenge aur pehla toh dharm ke prati hota hai koi bhi vyakti nikalta hai toh dharm ke prati hota hai (You see, I have a clear funda. If we are associating with you on any issue, then we will take a stand on that issue only. We will never play ball with other parties. Our first duty is our religion).” Coming to the digital promotion, which is an essential part of the campaign, the journalist now tells him that visits and speeches of firebrand Hindutva leaders like Mohan Bhagwat, Uma Bharati and Vinay Katiyar need to be promoted by uploading suitable content in the form of videos. “Wo ho jayega (That will be done),” we hear Aggarwal assure us. In the next phase, we would like our rivals the Congress, the BSP and the SP to be thrashed by creating humorous or funny content on their leaders the way “So Sorry” is done, both on your channel and on your web site. Then, we would like to book the entire free commercial time with your channel, as we would not like any other political party to have access to your air time. Agrees Aggarwal: “Haan, bilkul ismein koi burai nahi hai (Yes, there is nothing bad in doing so).”

Referring to election 2019, the journalist tells him that this is a war which comes on us once in five years. Assuring the client of his support, Aggarwal says: “Waise bhi aap dekh lijiye aapke saath koi khada hai toh aapko bhi lagta hai ki nahi muje bhi uske saath khada hona hai … toh fir apne saath ka banda hai ek hee cheej par chal rahe hain hain ek hee taraf hain humara ek hee direction hai aur ek hee soch hai (Anyway when you see somebody is standing by you, then you also feel like reciprocating equally … we are fellow-travellers and are moving in the same direction and our thinking is same).”

No deal is final until you discuss the mode of payment. So, the journalist now tells him that he would like to pay in ratio of 60:40 cash, saying that he is having this arrangement with other channels also. Aggarwal does not have any problem with that either, as he says: “Wo jo bhi hai jaise bhi hai koi issue nahi hai main kya ki apna ekdum clear hai ki jo cheej par aap chal rahe hain ussi cheej par hum chal rahe hain (Whatever the arrangement is, there is no issue. I am quite clear about it that we have to follow what you propose).”

After sometime, the journalist calls Aggarwal over phone to check if the promoter of K News was still as much committed to the agenda. As soon as Aggarwal receives the call, he says he is looking forward to meeting the client the journalist. Telling Aggarwal that soon his pointman will meet him to handover him cheque and some CDs on Hindutva, the journalist asks him remember two more points which his channel will have to take care of. You see, we have some alliance partners like Om Prakash Rajbhar, in Uttar Pradesh, Anupriya Patel and Upendra Kushwaha at the Centre, who are playing like pinpricks particularly after the TDP has parted ways. So, these small partners need to be run down by you all the time. “Okay,” we hear him say. The second point is, he tells him, we need and expect editorial support both our Sangathan and our party. Assures Aggarwarl in these words: “Aap nishchint rahiye uske liye … bilkul bilkul (Don’t worry at all about that … sure, sure).”

When we have friends like Aggarwal where is the need for us to worry that our agenda, however menacing it could be, would not be taken care?

K News 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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