Arnab Goswami’s venture's name ‘Republic’ is in violation of law: Subramanian Swamy writes to Centre

This isn’t the first public feud between the BJP MP and the star anchor.
Arnab Goswami’s venture's name ‘Republic’ is in violation of law: Subramanian Swamy writes to Centre
Arnab Goswami’s venture's name ‘Republic’ is in violation of law: Subramanian Swamy writes to Centre
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BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has taken umbrage to star news anchor Arnab Goswami’s new digital venture’s name, Republic.

Swamy has written to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, pointing out that the use of the name “Republic” is in violation of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use), Act, 1950, which prohibits certain names and symbols from being used for commercial purposes.

As Swamy points out, Item 6 in the Schedule accompanying the Act, prohibits the use of, “The name, emblem or official seal of the President, Governor, Sadar-i-Riyasat or Republic or Union of India.”

“Hence the grant of a license to a news channel to broadcast under the name of “Republic” will be contrary to law,” writes Swamy, urging the Ministry to investigate the matter.

This is, however, not the first public spat between Swamy and Arnab. With his take-on-all-comers attitude to public fights, Subramanian Swamy seemed an ideal guest for Arnab’s Newshour debates, and was a regular on the show. However, this ended when Swamy thoroughly abused Arnab in the course of one 2014 episode, calling him ‘Ignoramus’, ‘liar’ (over 25 times), ‘dumbo’, ‘stupid fellow’, and ‘congenital liar’. Since then, Swamy has never returned to the show, and the relationship between them has remained tempestuous.

Following Arnab’s exclusive interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, in which Modi seemed to be implicitly criticising Swamy for his indiscretion, the BJP leader went after Goswami in a series of tweets. Among other things, he suggested that Arnab was “foaming at the mouth” and could be recommended as “Media Advisor to Idi Amin”.  

Arnab had announced the name of his venture on December 15, a month-and-a-half after he resigned from his position of Editor-in-Chief and President, News, of Times Now and ET Now. 

The venture, structured in two companies, ARG Outlier Media Ltd. and SARG Media Holding Pvt Ltd, reportedly features Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar as one of the main investors – through his through his company Asianet News Online Pvt Ltd (ANOPL). Besides this, the company’s publicly available list of investors also reportedly includes Sameer and Sanjeev Manchanda and Tapesh Veerendra Singh of DEN Networks.

The launch of Republic has been accompanied by a high-rhetoric campaign, with Arnab declaring that the venture would deliver independent journalism, that would save the profession from, “the influence of Lutyens’ Delhi.”

He also reportedly said that for him journalism was, “a list of dos and don’ts. It is about right and wrong. It is not a narration of facts. People ask me why don’t you depend on facts, I tell them if I depend on facts I would not be a journalist I would be Wikipedia.”

Arnab Goswami rose to a commanding position in the English television news space as the highly controversial news anchor of the nightly debate programme Newshour on Times Now. Drawing massive audiences to his high on rhetoric, high-decibel debates, Arnab was widely criticised by journalists and media commentators for overly simplifying the level of public debate and discourse in the country, and for repeatedly brow-beating participants on the show who did not agree with his point of view. However, Arnab had also earned a massive following from the viewing public, many of whom appreciated him for his no-holds-barred style, and his refusal to concede his standpoint.

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