Thought Box



by Sanghamitra Chakraborty September 16 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 41 secs

#BoycottGodiMedia is trending, and Sanghamitra Chakraborty takes us to the film ‘While We Watched’, highlighting why it is so important that hate-mongers be shunned.

There is a scene in Vinay Shukla’s documentary on Ravish Kumar, where the former Prime Time anchor receives a call from a demonic troll. Ravish’s wife watches him helplessly as he tries to reason with the man hurling abuses at him first and ultimately gives up in the face of a shower of vulgar expletives. In an attempt to stand his ground, Ravish starts singing Sare Jahan Se Accha, his  desperation is evident. ‘While We Watched’, is filled with such moments where you will wonder how we as a nation got here.

The documentary captures the utter helplessness and frustration of Ravish Kumar and his team to carry on with their jobs, in the last few months or year of his association with NDTV India. We watch him standing up to the hysteria and hatred against tremendous odds - threats, abuses and relentless sledging are the visible ones.

He perseveres on a daily basis, as the studios of his channel are physically dismantled and his colleagues start leaving one by one. Even the junior most persons on the team can see there is no future for them at NDTV. Ravish’s resilience, courage and conviction, his frequent despair and desire to quit, but his return to the struggle to stay afloat to reach viewers, while putting himself and his family’s safety on the line, is heroic.

‘While We Watched’ is also a grim and startling reminder of the kind of lies, poison and blind worship of the PM that Noida channels heap on millions of viewers on a daily basis. It is this propaganda and hatred that triggers Sanghi uncles to attack people like Ravish Kumar day in and day out, and rouse majoritarian sentiments and unleash vicious attacks on their 'enemies' alongside.

Honestly, most people I know tend to avoid the projectile of vomit that is aimed at viewers every single day by the Godi Channels. Yet they are the ones way ahead in the viewership race, raking in large revenues. At least a couple of media empires have been built on the back of this toxic garbage. The anchors on these channels are constantly rewarded for the lies, toxicity and hatred they help propagate, while journalists who stand for the truth and try to protect the first principles of journalism and democracy are threatened, coerced and pushed out.

#BoycottGodiMedia is currently trending on social media after the INDIA alliance has put out a list with names of Godi Media anchors it has decided to blacklist. It will be interesting if the saffron brigade starts debating against each other and mauling themselves on these shows. I will be curious to know if their TRPs jump as a result of this.

Political parties can boycott channels, but until viewers everywhere block out this daily dose of poison on TV, and move firmly away, the push back against the Godi people will remain a trend on twitter, sorry X, and the poison will keep flourishing until it eventually drowns us all.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.