At around 8.30 am, many mainstream news channel cut away from covering the news or their usual morning programmes to broadcast live footage from the Nagpur headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. It was time for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to give his annual Dussehra speech, which coincides with the RSS foundation day.
News18 India, ABP News, Aaj Tak, Zee News, India TV, Republic Bharat, Times Now – everyone queued up to broadcast the speech. Channels like CNN-News18 even tweeted about the speech every five or 10 minutes between 8.30 and 9.30 am.
While focused on definitions of Hindutva, the Ayodhya verdict, and the "organised violence" of the citizenship law protests, this year, his topics of choice included Covid, population control policies, and OTT platforms.
"There's no control over what's shown on OTT platforms. Post corona, even children have phones," he said. "Use of narcotics is rising...how to stop it? Money from such businesses is used for anti-national activities..."
It's worth remembering that seven years ago in 2014, state broadcaster Doordarshan aired Bhagwat's speech live in entirety. At the time, it received pushback on why it was providing a national platform to the RSS chief. This year as well, Bhagwat's speech on Doordarshan.