YOU HAVE TO BE A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON to celebrate a business milestone at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. But considering that Radhika and Prannoy Roy launched their 24-hour news channel, more than 15 years ago, at the prime minister’s official residence, it seemed apt that, in 2013, the programme to mark the twenty-fifth year of its parent company, New Delhi Television Private Limited, was held at the president’s.
The Roys organised a glittering event on a December evening that year, attended by some of India’s most famous and powerful people, many of whom the network was felicitating as the country’s “greatest global living legends.” In attendance were titans of industry (Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Indra Nooyi, NR Narayana Murthy), sporting legends (Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Leander Paes) and film stars (Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Waheeda Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan). Once this galaxy of guests was seated, Prannoy Roy, dressed in a sleek black bandhgala, stepped up to a lectern.
“Several people, including protesters, police personnel and ordinary Kashmiris, told me that the agitations were spontaneous and leaderless, and that Geelani and other leaders did not weild the kind of clout they once did.”
Krishn Kaushik is a Staff Writer at The Caravan.