It’s been rumoured for a while that Independent Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar would be one of the investors in Arnab Goswami’s new media venture Republic, but neither parties have confirmed.
An Indian Express report by Krishn Kaushik today confirms the rumour. According to it, Republic will be part of a company called ARG Outlier Media Private Limited and Chandrasekhar has invested “over Rs 30 crore” in it through companies owned by him.
The report also states that Chandrasekhar is one of the directors on ARG and that Goswami was appointed its managing director a day after he had left Times Now. Citing information available with the Registrar of Companies, the report states that apart from Chandrasekhar’s Asianet News Online, SARG Media Holding is the main investor in ARG Outlier. SARG is also owned by Goswami and had investments from 14 other people and companies towards the end of November.
Interestingly, the largest investor in SARG is Ranjan Ramdas Pai of Aarin Capital Partners, which he co-founded with Mohandas Pai.
Neither Goswami nor Chandrasekhar has responded to Indian Express report. The two coming together, though, is easily credible, given both have openly-stated nationalist stances. Back in October last year, Newslaundry had reported on an email that was sent from Jupiter Capital Chief Operating Officer Amit Gupta to editorial heads of media outlets owned by the Bengaluru-based investment company, including Malayalam news channel Asianet News, Kannada news channel Suvarna News, web portal Newsable and newspaper Kannada Prabha.
This is what the email stated:
“All Editorial talent to be hired with a summary of bio to be sent to CXO office for views and guidance.
The candidate should be;
– right of centre in his / her editorial tonality
– Pro-India, Pro-Military,
– aligned to Chairman’s ideology,
– views and should be aware of his governance reforms;
– well familiarised with his thoughts on nationalism and governance
Offers being rolled out shall be summarised and shared with Chairman’s office as regards the credentials (only) and the hiring managers have to ensure that the above has been ticked appropriately.”
The chairman of Jupiter Capital is Chandrasekhar who is known to take up causes centred on the Armed Forces. Notably, his company Jupiter Capitals has assets in the defence sector. It is the holding company of Axiscades Engineering Technology Limited, which has won contracts from the Ministry of Defence even as Chandrasekhar has been on the Parliamentary Committee of Defence and also on the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) since the Modi government came to power. Chandrasekhar was also appointed vice-chairman of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in Kerala on September 26, 2016.
The Indian Express report quotes liberally from this aspect of our story without hyperlinking to it or mentioning us. Legacy media, please learn from this short on how to acknowledge your peer’s work. The score is 3-0.