Ravish Kumar joins anti-Modi club on YouTube


Photo credit Twitter Ravish Kumar

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 1: Celebrity anchor Ravish Kumar on Thursday announced his decision to quit NDTV. His resignation came after Adani Group completed the formality of taking over NDTV. The NDTV Board has been reconstituted after the resignation of the founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy.

Advent of Narendra Modi in the Indian politics with his taking power in New Delhi set off chaos in news television channels. Most of the television channels became cheerleaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. They became principal tool of the BJP’s agenda setting machinery. NDTV was in the rare club of television channels, which gave voice to the anti-Modi voices, with Ravish Kumar becoming the key face of the counter narrative.

The Modi age in Indian politics also polarised the audience. News took backseat. Comments became the main focus of the television channels. Soon, anchor began giving long editorial commentaries, which are monologues, but watched by the captive audiences. The likes of Ravish Kumar, Rajat Sharma, Sudhir Chaudhary became the faces of the ‘television babagiri’ on prime time. They also brought along several of the others of their tribe who also launched themselves into shrilled commentaries in the company of spokespersons of the political parties.

But some of the celebrity anchors who belonged to the anti-Modi club found losing their jobs in the television channels. Abhishar Sharma, Punya Prasoon Bajpai, Ajit Anjum and now Ravish Kumar had to leave mainstream media. They have taken shelter with YouTube, working on contents, which are more focussed on editorialised contents. Some of them are said to be doing exceedingly well, commanding even one million subscribers. The pro-BJP voice on YouTube is also equally strong, as the mobile phones drive data consumption across the country.

NDTV with Adani management is likely to go for an image makeover, and the news channel may become another BJP agenda setting platform, which is already crowded with the likes of Times Now, Republic TV, Zee TV, News 18, etc. The dominance of the pro-BJP on television made Congress to stay away from the mainstream visual media. Congress has launched its own YouTube channel. The winner, however, is YouTube, which is now seen giving a tough competition to the mainstream channels.

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