Television

Is Ashutosh going to pursue politics?

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MUMBAI: Indian journalism has had few very popular names to boast of when it comes to journalists. One such name is Ashutosh. He just didn’t contribute to the growth of Hindi channels of two of the biggest networks in the country when they were launched, he also became their face during the time he was working for them.  The first one was Aaj Tak from the TV Today group which was launched in 2000, and the second was IBN7, a joint venture between Global Broadcast News and Jagran TV in 2006.

In 2006, when Ashutosh left the position as deputy executive producer at Aaj Tak to join IBN7 as managing editor, he created a commotion. Once again, he repeated history today when the news of his resignation broke out. The journalist decided to end his eight year relationship with IBN7 as well without notifying anybody about his future plans.

While there’s a possibility that he could join/open another news channel, rumours are afloat that he is all set to end his more than two decade long journalistic career and join the much talked about newbie political party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

And as the rumours are reaching far and wide, one wonders if it is possible for someone who was so committed to his work for such a long time can finally change course at the age of 49 and serve the country is another way! When quizzed about his next course of action he says, “I am open to all options.”

When probed further and quizzed if he is actually taking the political route, Ashutosh chose to give an ambiguous response that too twice, “Let’s see.”

While we were still wondering what to make out of his response, a tweet from Ashutosh gave us a slight glimpse of what is going on in his mind. He wrote, “Eight years back I changed my course, now there is another time, another call of destiny, have to swim- have to swim.”

So, is there a change of course for the journalist who started his broadcasting career in 1996 as a correspondent with Aaj Tak, which at that time was just a 20 minute news bulletin on the pubcaster – Doordarshan Metro. Aaj Tak was just a year old then. When the channel was launched in 2000, Ashutosh became a known face in many Hindi-speaking households with his primetime anchoring.

In a 2008 interview with indiantelevision.com, reminiscing about his initial days in the field, he had said, “In early 1996 I was working as a correspondent with Aaj Tak I was getting ready to give my PTC for a story on a lonely bumpy road in Ganderbal when suddenly a 10 year old boy appeared from nowhere and shouted…Ashutosh, Delhi, Aaj Tak. I was stunned. I could not comprehend that in a place so removed from civilisation, someone could recognise me. That was the power of TV. Those words still ring in my ears and I cannot forget that small boy’s face.”

Wonder if he would be able to leave the profession that he so fondly rejoiced once, or is it “country calling” for him!

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