India Watch

India Watch

cobrapost |
March 26, 2018

Ishwari Dwivedi, Owner, India Watch, Lucknow

Although it is a digital news platform, sort of a new kid on the block, the reach of this YouTube channel cannot be underestimated given the fact that the number of users of this digital medium is growing by leaps and bounds every year, as mobile telephony with Internet becomes more and more accessible to average Indians.

Ishwari Dwivedi, the owner of the Lucknow-based YouTube news channel India Watch, turns out to be a Hindutva votary. Therefore, when the reporter asks him if he is “comfortable” with his agenda, Dwivedi sets the tone of the interview with these words: “Hindutva ke agende mein hum log poori tareh comfortable honge. Hum khud Hindu hain toh Hindutva ke agende mein comfortable rahenge (I will be completely comfortable with the agenda of Hindutva. I myself am a Hindu, so I will be [naturally] comfortable with the agenda of Hindutva).” In an attempt to dig out more information on its antecedents, when the journalist asks Dwivedi, he informs us of his reach: “30.10.2015. Ye Bharat kee humari pehli company hai jise pandrah license hain humare paas spiritual ka alag hai humara alag alag state ka alag hai ([We started on] 30.10.2015. Ours is the first ever company which has got 15 licenses, we have a separate license for spiritual broadcast and for states we have different licenses).”

After discussing the requirements of the campaign that his prospective client wants his channel to run, so that it could help them make a proposal, Dwivedi tells the reporter that he has no objection to play the content an essential ingredient of which is bashing of political rivals like Samajwadi Party, Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party: “Na, na, na aitraz kya hum toh hum log toh wo Hindutva wala jo bataya unhone … hum log ussi vyavastha par hain (No, no, no. We are [a] pro-Hindutva [organization] as he told about me … we are part of that ʻsystemʼ [ideology]).” In the course of the interview, we also come to know that Dwivedi owns a string of educational institutions.

The first three months our media campaign will focus on soft Hindutva. However, as elections will approach, it will play the aggressive Hindutva card to polarize the electorate on communal lines and if need be it will be used to incite riots. The reporter now spells out his diabolical plan and asks if it is “okay” with him. For Dwivedi, associating with this kind of project is sort of fulfilling his ideological need: “Sabse badi cheej ye hai ki jo aapka agenda hai humari jo personal soch hai isase poora match karta hua hai financial jo wo toh theek hee hai business kar rahe hain toh financial need hai wo toh … lekin aapka jo project hai wo kyonki main jhela hua hoon toh mujhe bada comfort hai usmein (The best thing about your agenda is that it completely matches my personal ideology. The financial part [of the deal] is fine as I am into a business and we have financial needs … but I feel comfort[able] with your project as I have suffered a lot).” And he is willing to take up the assignment for Rs. 50 lakh.

Before closing his interview with Dwivedi, the journalist asks him who he would like to depute from his company to maintain a “hotline” with him so the campaign could be run according to the need of the hour. Dwivedi puts himself at the disposal of his client: “Humare interest ka vishay hai isliye direct hum hee iss par jude rahenge. Humare interest humare niji taur ka hai toh iske liye direct hum involve rahenge (This subject is of my interest, so I will be associated with it direct[ly]. It is of my personal interest, so I shall be direct[ly] involved).”

The reporter now tells him he would pay him in the ratio of 60:40 cash and a contract will be signed with his company on which only the payment that will be made in white will be mentioned. The cash transactions will be kept secret. At this point, Dwivedi reveals of a similar contract that he had with the BJP. Listen to him as he spills the beans: “BJP ke tender mein jo hua iss baar ussi tareh se (You mean the way the BJP issued its tender)?” Tender, as you may be aware, is also synonymous with contract.

The IndiaWatch owner has already been shown the jingle which mocks Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Now, the journalist tells him that the third part of the campaign is besmirching or thrashing political rivals of the BJP like Congress, SP and BSP using the similar content to what he has heard. Dwivedi is unable to hide his glee: “Bahut barhiya ye toh humare interest ka traffic le aaye. Bahut isko karne mein anand ayega (Very good. You have brought us traffic of our interest. We will enjoy doing it).” To see reactions of concerned person click here

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