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I joined journalism by choice, left it midway to do something more creative and purposeful. I did not know that fate had willed differently. I meandered through social activism and politics and became a part-time writer on Indian society and politics. Destiny pulled me back. One fine day of January 2013, I found myself in the thick of news once again. Yes, I took up the challenge of becoming the news editor of NewsX Television Channel. I was a senior political analyst with the British High Commission for three years 2005-2008. The fat salary, intelligent colleagues and a flexible job failed to retain me there for long. I realized I was becoming a part of their bureaucracy. My existence there was in stark contrast to the world outside.
I always dreamt of doing something to elevate my existence and make life more meaningful for myself and the country
After two decades as political journalist, I joined the bar in 2012(D/900/2012). I am practising mainly in Delhi High Court, The Supreme Court of India, and other courts in Delhi.
After having spent more than 20 years in mainstream media in India, I moved to Law and Politics. My stint in media was marked by an unbiased nationalist tilt that sought to do factual reporting. I longed to be a part of a better and vibrant democratic country where every citizen would have an equal say. I realised that the need was to work for a nationalist alternative to the Congress.
During the course of reporting I came in touch with many BJP leaders of substance including ex-Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Ex-Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, senior leaders Sunder Singh Bhandari, Kushabhau Thakre, Jana Krishnamurthy, Bangaru Laxman, JP Mathur, Pyarelal Khandelwal, KN Govindacharya, Pramod Mahajan, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu. I also came in close touch with Shri Narendra Modi, who had come to national BJP as the national secretary and subsequently rose higher up and became the General Secretary, the chief minister and the Prime Minister.
My last stint in the media was as News Editor of Newx TV News Channel. At that time I found that Shri Narendra Modi was trying to champion the cause of development but the mainstream media was more interested in damaging his image. As a journalist I decided it was my duty to try to understand the man and his vision and make people aware. The result of my painstaking research found expression in the book “Narendra Modi: The GameChanger”. This turned out to be showcasing of Gujarat’s development journey through the vision of Shri Narendra Modi.
After writing the book I had the option to get a fat salary and promotion from my employer Newsx or to join some other news organisation with a better designation and pay. I decided to do otherwise. I had never compromised the ethical principle in journalism and it weighed heavily on my mind since I had compromised my ethical neutrality. Not that I had any doubt about my subject or his character. It was the fact that I was too aligned with by subject and would like him to succeed in giving a strong leadership to the country. I decided to uphold the moral standards and quit journalism. I participated in various TV debates and interacted with various diplomats to explain Modi, the man and his vision. After about a year, I was offered to join the BJP as a member of its media relations committee. I began participating in TV debates as a Panelist spokesperson from the BJP and soon found myself fulltime into politics though I had got registered in the Bar in Delhi in 2012.
In 2018, the party assigned to me the role of media co in-charge for the Karnataka and Telangana Assembly elections. I stayed in Bangalore and Hyderabad for over a month each and tried to create a better media atmosphere. I addressed press conferences wherever assigned.
Besides Karnataka and Telangana, I was also asked to look after our media units in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry and Jharkhand. A regular touch with the media units in these States helped me to understand regional politics and deliver better on the national front.
I had led a movement called Youth 4 Democracy during the Anna movement days. We had mobilised youths for change and actively supported the Anna movement. When ArvindKejriwal wanted to form a party we supported him because we wanted change as there was disillusionment all around. Very soon we realised (other Y4D leaders too) that Mr Kejriwal was not what he was talking about. He was more interested in building his own image and was not bothered about giving an alternative. I walked up to him one fine morning and told him that you cannot be the factor for change. And Also, that he did not need anyone. I left the party and joined NewsX.
It was during my stint as News Editor that I realised that the person I knew very well was fast emerging as the icon of the youth for change. He had achieved complete turnaround of Gujarat and was fast capturing the imagination of the youths. But he had many enemies in the national media who wanted to bring the ghost of 2002 Gujarat riots alive to malign his image. They based their criticisms on assumptions and theories and not on facts. It was then that I decided to make a deep study of the man and dig deep to know the facts about Gujarat and also 2002. The book Narendra Modi: The GameChanger was the result of this determination. I thank that the book was liked by the readers.