Namashkar friends. Today, we have a very special guest for interview, a well known journalist Vinod Dua ji.. We’ll put some questions regarding his life and his experiences. so, vinod ji, my first question shall be that in your career, you had plenty of news channel during your time but you kept on changing i.e. you did not stick only to as single channel & now you have move to The Wire. so, what was your decision(reason) behind changing news channel constantly? Firstly, I am not liked by many wherever I work & I dont have any regret over it Then Secondly, the english term Fair Sense of Independence is plenty within me. I have sticked(max.) to NDTV for around 9years but even there, I did not join any channel. I have always stayed independent from the beginning so, you did shows for them being independent? ; Yes so, where news channel are concerned, I have my own firm which has done B2B contracts with channels. I have never been an employee so whenever contract finished, I used to do it with another channel. So, in this way, I started many like starting of ZEE News was done through my hands Beginning of TV Today in year 1987 was also done by me Apart from that, Sahara so, since I was the only one around all these opening, so I got all the chances If someone else had been there, then he would have got it. so, what was the reason of leaving them, can we say conflict of interest? No, I had to leave firstly whenever contract used to end Secondly, like incase of ZEE, I entered into contract with ZEEon 10th may, 1997 & it began that night itself, earlier it used to ZEE India TV & that contract was till 31/12 only, the day when passengers of IC 814 were released. I did my last programme and then left for New Year party so these are time bound contracts. Did you ever feel, at any point of time, that you left any channel due to conflict of interest? yes Surely, last year itself, Naveen jindal’s channel named News World India So, I cant bear interference by anyone but interference started over there That means, your content started becoming prescripted? Yes, questions like why did you say this? & I am not used to this. It was a contract of 1 year but I ended it up within 4 months. Then How did you come in The Wire? Oh, The Wire is a beautiful phase and rest, siddharth vardhrajan told me that he is starting The Wire in Hindi & told me to talk about the Public to which i agreed upon So, we are doing the same. I am not a part of The Wire officially but I am a contributor; Dhruv: The way you have always been before so What is special about the Wire which is not common with other news channel? Firstly, I didnt know that Social media has such high access Secondly, there is no lengthy pile of work like, you and me are sitting here I have a habit of very expensive sets, around crores, multi cameras around 6 cameras , 5 cameras , big studios since my entire life has been spent in this This is my 43rd year in media I started, my first programme was on 27 November, 1974 I was used to be big studios etc. but this is so much lifelike that I feel so good Dhruv: That it is very casual. Apart from casual, even in Jan Gan Man, a water bottle is kept from the beginning so, just like real life study, it is almost like that At one time, you were also food journalist so was it suggested to you by the channel or your self interest aroused regarding the food? Firstly, I wasn’t a food journalist nor I am a food expert but I am foodie. I have an inclination towards tasty food This suggestion(idea) was by channel producer Monica Narula. It was her idea Secondly, My connection is with mohalla, the road I am a people’s person and I love it a lot like an Aam aadmi?; Yes Thirdly, whenever we go to a new place, what do we first do? We meet our friends, parents, relatives, whoever is there visit that place, landmarks and dine out at the best place. That’s what I used to do; Visit any city, told about that city a bit and then do shooting at the best places which were already researched before There used to be no script and entirely extempore It was my fun programme So, currently for the show Jan Gan Man, how is the content selected? Here, Content selection is like, My colleague Akhil We have a talk during the day, around 1Pm about the topic to be covered Conventionally, there was never a difference of opinion so, was there a general category which shall only be selected? See, the environment where almost all news channel & majority of media is Governmental or Courtiers who have an inclination towards them which is given and non-negotiable that we will be critical of the Govt. whcih should be taken for granted Once it is decided that job of media is to be critical which is not done by anyone All have been Governmental or Courtiers So, we have an assumption that we have to be critical of the Govt. That’s the role of media Keeping that in mind, we take topic from current happenings like this report by Reserve Bank Of India which stated that the amount which was in circulation before DeMo has approximately come back so what was achieved out of it? Dhruv: Nothing; so Now we shall be taking this up. Even I have also thought about this so, in this way, we decide a topic. Is it so that the focus is on the news which is not showcased on the channels? yes, we focus on such news as well. which is our responsibility so, in today’s time, situation of country is not good like institutions are attacked one by one almost hijacked, so through your extensive experience, since you also were during the time of Indira gandhi so, how can that time be compared with today’s scenario? Is it worse than that time? I feel that it is almost the same situation of 1976-77 Rather it is worse than that because At the time of Indira Gandhi, there were only an armful of few selected people Currently, in a planned manner There is an organisation which has its own ideology and thinking about how Bharat should be. so an entire organisation is behind this which makes this time more worse than Gandhi’s 1977 but situations are almost similar. so what steps in future can be taken to avoid such dreadful past? I personally believe that in democracy, even capable citizens are also needed We need capable citizens for democracy which we dont have(lag) here People get swayed away, get deceived through propoganda getting things their own way whether by laughing or crying or singing or by intimidation people get deceived in rallies so the biggest need in democracy is to have capable citizens which can be done by nurturing them. so Did the same used to happen in those times i.e. the Govt. also engage in fooling and spreading propoganda? I still remember that in those days, posters in buses stated that” We are moving towards golden future” like, currently Good days are about to come while during emergency period, buses had it written that we are moving towards golden future so situation is quite similar but there used to be one difference, nobody knew that the public has ,on its own, decided that whenever elections shall happen, they shall be chucked out i.e. Indira gandhi & congress Nobody has this clue/idea. Plus nobody thought of the alternative. Janta Party can also be formed by joining all parties so alternatives always arise in democracy Did they also use nationalism or religion which is a factor currently but not then? No, there wasn’t such factor so, here religion also has a new angle. Did u ever have any pressure from higher authorities while working with The Wire? There was a film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro It has a dialogue of Late Om Puri. Yudhistra scolded him and said” Bhim, You dont listen to your elder brother” so He reverted back saying that He has not even abided to his father then who are you? then whose pressure?? (laughs) so Was there any organised attack by troll army? yes, they keep on doing so online or offline? Majority on online but none via offline since I dont pay much heed to this. So, tons of thanks Vinod Dua ji for connecting with us Nice meeting you. I do watch your videos Thank You.