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Harassment by Times Now: Statement by Shabnam Hashmi

January 11, 2013

[The following is a public statement issued by Shabnam Hashmi regarding her harassment by Times Now. The report is truly alarming and shows the extent to which this form of 'media vigilantism' - Arnab Goswami/ Times Now style can go. It is of course, another matter that when confronted by a Raj Thakre, the same macho anchor can turn into a small and helpless mouse. We are reproducing this statement in public interest.] 

I was in Gujarat for over six months and returned to Delhi two weeks ago. While in Gujarat I was asked to appear on different television channels constantly. On one such talk show on Times Now I felt that I was especially being pushed into a corner and it was an absolutely unbalanced panel, I told the Times Now guest coordinator that I will not come on the channel any longer. It continued for about a week or so. Then a representative came from Mumbai and met me in Gujarat office and ensured that it will not happen in future and requested me to come for the Talk Shows.

I agreed and went again whenever I was called.

On December 28, 2012 I released a public statement in Delhi regarding the Gujarat Verdict 2012 and resigned from various UPA committees that I was part of. On the same day I was invited to Times Now and I found the same attitude of being highly aggressive towards me.

January 2, 2013, I filed a police complaint against Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi in Parliament Street Police Station against the hate speech which he made in Andhra Pradesh. I was called on Times Now and met the same uncivilized and aggressive behavior.
On January 4, 2013 I put the status on my facebook ‘TIMES NOW- MY STATUS- NOT AVAILABLE-GOODBYE MR ARNAB GOSWAMI- SORRY FOR DENYING YOU THE PLEASURE OF BEING THE ‘CONSCIENCE KEEPER’.

All hell seems to have broken out since then. I have been receiving calls after calls from various Times Now reporters. They have barged into Anhad several times, threatening to do stories against Anhad and me.

Anhad has been running from 23, Canning Lane’s Garage for 5 years now. There have been over 30-40 press conferences big and small at Anhad itself attended by all media fraternity including reporters from Times Now. Times Now reporters have come and taken my interviews in this office tens of times, they have attended press conferences, sent their ob vans and pick up cars for Talk Show.

They have suddenly come up with the new evidence Now that Anhad runs from 23, Canning Lane, New Delhi which is Dr Syeda Hamid’s garage.

Despite being informed by my colleagues that the garage was provided to us free, they have asked me the same question four times-How much money you pay?

Anhad has been a space where scores of journalists and media friends have come and visited. We have always respected the media and continue to do so and Anhad has received tremendous support from the media fraternity across India and we greatly value and respect that.

Yes, Anhad runs out of 23, Canning lane, New Delhi-110001, Yes we have FCRA, we raise resources through funding agencies both foreign and Indian, from friends and corporates, Yes we have taken on fundamentalists of all hues.

This is the first time that we are faced with a situation where I personally in 32 years of my grass root activism and Anhad as an organisation in its 10 yrs of work feel being harassed, stalked, and blackmailed.

Shabnam Hashmi

January 10, 2012

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Badari Narayanan permalink
    January 11, 2013 12:02 PM

    God help you. Sanity is a bad word in secular India. Truly sorry state when the central government uses all its allies (paid media) to arm twist people to tow its line

  2. Keval permalink
    January 11, 2013 12:34 PM

    Arnab Goswami is a pain in a part of the anatomy that would be impolite to mention anywhere except perhaps on his channel.

  3. Pervez permalink
    January 11, 2013 1:26 PM

    It is very well Know that #Arnab Goswami wears “saffron chaddis” so why this surprise at his attitide by this lady.His interviews of Hindutava exponents are always sweet and honey. He will let them have their say without interruption. He may pretend to be critical but none of their replies will get interrupted. You should observe him when he ask pretty Smriti Irani any questions. If he does interrupt he tends to stutter Smriti…Smriti…Smriti. Kid gloves remain on also for exponents like Swapan Dasgupta or Balbir Punj etc.
    But then he is not the only one in the media who pretends to be non partisan- there are many. However there are many who make the mistake of believing that #Arnab Goswami is aggressive with all.

  4. January 11, 2013 2:02 PM

    It is true Arnab quite often appears too arrogant. He seems to have somehow internalized the self-cultivated belief that he is morally superior to always sit in jundegement. I rather find his guests too gentle which Arnab probably takes as their weakness. Such ‘know all’ type of guys often tend to forget that arrogance and acumen are two altogether different and, in fact, contradictory personality traits. I wonder why people with self-respect agree to oblige him. Is TV appearance so attractive?

  5. Shourav permalink
    January 11, 2013 2:36 PM

    One has only to read the Caravan cover story on Arnab Goswami to know what kind of sleazeball he really is.

  6. Khalid Umar permalink
    January 11, 2013 2:41 PM

    I am sorry to note that you give so much of importance to people like Arnab Goswami ? Koi Sanjeeda Aadmi Arnab ke bare mein is qadar fikrmand kaise ho gaya ? Arnab hai Kaun ?

    Go ahead and leave these inhibitions out ……..on……

    Khalid

  7. patnaikt permalink
    January 11, 2013 3:17 PM

    He is the most conceited and stupid anchors of all! I think he must be congratulating his parents on his own birthday!

  8. Apurba K Baruah permalink
    January 11, 2013 5:15 PM

    I am not surprised by this. Public space in India in most cases is obtained through various kinds of influences. Media too is a part of it. If media has to support itself through advertises of all kinds how do you expect them to be reasonable? Selective aggression is a part of the media politics. I have witnessed important civil society activists being unfairly harangued or being made to seat quietly while the pro-establishments know-alls are allowed to carry on with half truths. Each media house has a definition of patriotism aftr is that is the last resort…. There indeed are exceptions to this but they are few and far between. Apurba K Baruah

  9. preeti chauahan permalink
    January 11, 2013 7:20 PM

    hope arnab goswami learns something from this and try to improve he can!! highly self righteous all the time as if he represents the ‘higher self’ of people!!

    • Pervez permalink
      January 11, 2013 8:27 PM

      Arnab Goswami has his own personal political view which he hids behind his aggressive exterior If you observe his programs closely you will find that his aggression is limited to views that conflict with his person. So “learning” for Arnab is not a valid assumption as he will continue to push his agenda from the platform provided to him by his sponsors. It will take journalistic perseverance and commitment to expose him. Arnab is like Foxnews right wingers.

  10. Suhail A. permalink
    January 11, 2013 8:16 PM

    When will people realize Arnab is not someone you talk to on TV. He is not interested in what you have to say.

  11. ashakachrublog permalink
    January 11, 2013 10:12 PM

    he talks too much, as a moderator one should know how to put questions and listen to the answers and moderate the guests not talk too much oneself. having said that I find him very committed to whatever he takes on. maybe that is the reason he behaves as he does. i prefer his approach of not being lenient to any party left right or middle. we need unbiased media in India today more than ever.

  12. Melanie permalink
    January 12, 2013 2:16 PM

    I think that those who are wise would agree not to be interviewed on his programmes and those who are wiser, not watch them!!

  13. Madan Singh permalink
    January 13, 2013 6:52 AM

    I think Arnab Goswami goes overboard. He comes across as unnecessarily aggressive. Deliberate posturing. Somewhere in his life he seems to have learnt that shouting wins arguments. Now, old enough to understand, it does not. And the comment about him with Raj Thakre is justified, to my mind.

  14. Dipti permalink
    January 13, 2013 4:52 PM

    Its unfortunate how an otherwise intelligent guy has given in to news ‘commercialism’ and become an always-screaming-idiot. What is more unfortunate is that Times Now is supposedly the No. 1 Indian news channel – and that just gives him scope for more tomfoolery.

  15. Nazia permalink
    January 14, 2013 4:03 PM

    people should simply boycott to be on Arnab Goswami’s show.

  16. Eric Pinto permalink
    January 15, 2013 1:06 AM

    Whatever happened to the NBA that is supposed to be the tv news regulator ? Times Now is one chennel that should have been hauled over the coals for trumping up or dumbing down certain news stories. As to the 9PM to 10.30 PM durbars Arnab has, the skew towards right wing sentiment is all but unstated. I was witness to the show where Ms Hashmi was verbally bludgeoned. That Arnab is a Modi enthusiast is apparent , but listening to his detractors would balance the skew. Nobody for instance,talks about Gujarat’s pollution, poor factory conditions and the marginalisation of the poor at the expense of the rich and middle classes. Those stories would be done by a lone Srinivasan Jain. Other journos prefer to pick up and expound the stories provided by savvy PR agencies.

  17. RAJIV permalink
    June 1, 2013 11:34 PM

    Arnab Goswami is a very boring anchor. He will not listen to the other panelists view.He will put questions and answer the question himself. I cannot understand why the so-called panelists keep mum when this stupid anchor keeps distracting their views. I should appreciate Mani Shanker Aiyer and Musharraf in snubbing him on his own channel and putting him in his place. As a person I dont know if he has rightist or leftist views but he should act mature and not be hyperactive and have the patience to hear what the other person has to say. If he corrects himself definitely he will be no 1 anchor because of his timid looks.

  18. Sharad Shah permalink
    June 26, 2013 7:51 PM

    Arnab and the Times Now channel were censured for a very biased program titled “Will Kanomozi turn approver?” and for not disclosing the pecuniary interest in Arms business of Mr. Maroof Raza, one of his favourite panelists, in the debate on Tatra trucks by News Broadcasting Standards Authority. . Any one interested should see how he muzzled the voice of General Baxi when he wanted to say something that he did not want the viewers to hear. You will not find this on the website of Times Now but will have to go to the web site of NBSA.

  19. Sharad Shah permalink
    June 26, 2013 9:51 PM

    Have you complained to NBSA or the Press Council? If not, why not? I have complained to NBSA and twice the response was to my satisfaction. When I complained about muzzling of General Bakshi, I did not receive any reply despite reminders. One problem probably is that NBSA and NBA have a common secretariat. Also, half the members of NBSA are appointed by the Media Houses so self-regulation, like the CBI, will always be suspect. Being in Delhi, you can remain present at the hearing. I could not do this and the hearing had to be ex-parte. In the case of Maroof Raza, Times Now was represented by their Dy. Editor, Legal Advisor and Maroof Raza himself but the Channel was censured never the less. I have suggested that every member channel should have an Ombudsman like Radio France but this suggestion has not found the favour of the Authority.

  20. bala permalink
    March 17, 2014 7:35 AM

    Yesterday, I watched Arnab’s sham of a debate on Kejriwal’s allegations on the media and so show that he is very fair, he announced that there were more AAP members on this panel…but as soon as his durbar started, he would not let AAP panelists to speak!!!! it was not such a serious topic. …it looked like a spoof show like Saturday night live….he would allow only the BJP members and the so called journalists who were ready to pour venom on AAP…to speak full sentences…but as soon as an AAP member opened his mouth to talk..Arnab would start speaking without stopping…it was unbelievable spectacle… I wish people would notice this guy’s agenda and boycott his so called debates..

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