Rahul Roushan, the founder of Faking News was in MIC Manipal yesterday for giving a talk on “Blogging and fake news as a relief from mainstream media”. He is an IIM graduate and one of top influential Indians on Web Media. ManipalBlog caught up with him over a plate of ‘peanuts’ after the talk. He’s been very friendly throughout the interview. Here are the excerpts:
ManipalBlog (MB): Hi,dude…
Rahul Roushan (RR): 🙂 Hi..
MB: Here goes my first question…In the talk , you were beating around the bush when someone in the audience asked about your target audience. You could have directly said ‘Internet Hindus‘,na?
RR: You know,I get scared when I go to journalism colleges as they generally have people with leftist ideology in abundance. Since I am slightly right leaning, I don’t take chances there…Yes, my audience are mostly Internet hindus… Also, the other reason was that the guy sitting in the last row who disagreed with me on everything looked towards me so menacingly… Salaa!!
MB: Seems you talked about threats from only Hindu groups for the same reason cited above…
RR: Yes, you are right…..I didn’t talk about ‘secular’ threats for the same reason.
MB: Do you think ‘Internet Hindus’ will still patronize Faking News even after Narendra Modi becoming PM in 2014 since there will be less scope for satire?
RR: I don’t fucking trust these people. Though I like NaMo, I am secretly wishing that Mulayam becomes PM. I can start writing satires right from the victory celebrations itself …And I know it’s difficult but I can’t ask for more if Rahul Gandhi becomes PM. 😀
MB: You’re talking about threats from Arindham Chaudhry…
RR: (indignantly)The matter is subjudice now and so I can’t speak about that ‘suer’ Arindham now..
MB: You go soft on Barkha Dutt on twitter while you are merciless on other journalists. Grapevine is that you have a crush on her…
RR: (with a blush) Not really…that crush was during my teenage. 😀
MB: You weren’t even looking at MIC girls..Are you so shy?
RR: Abey yaar…I wanted to talk to them but I am married now. Almost everyone around were holding DSLRs… My marriage life would be ruined if someone clicks pics with chicks and they reach my better half. Not that she is possessive but why take a chance?
MB: Wonder what’s that stuff inside the bag (referring to the gift bag given by MIC)?
RR: (opening the bag..) Ouch!!It’s Arundhati Roy’s book. (Laughs loudly)… WOW!! This is an expensive perfume from Dubai. Great!!..And this looks like coconut chutney. My wife loves it…But why coconuts specifically? Woh Kerala me famous hai na? (Kerala is famous for them, right?)
MB: I am not an MICian myself but it seems,like gulf and PMO , Mallus have conquered MIC as well. Now MIC celebrates Onam officially. Coconut chutney and that expensive perfume must be the idea of some powerful Gulf mallu here.
RR: Oh,I see…Btw,that Bad Doctor guy on twitter is a mallu as well and of late he’s getting too many followers. He can be a potential competitor to Faking News. I got to watch out.
MB: What’s your message to MICians?
RR: (with a scornful laugh) Abey yaar… Bakwaas bandh kar… maine diya tha na lecture mein, abhi fir se? (Stop this shit,man. I have already given it in the talk..Now again?)….(with a sigh) Ok, for your sake I will repeat that thing… It’s simple… When you make a news program, you should keep in mind that you are competing with saas-bahu serials of Star Plus and Colors, not the news channels… It’s all about TRPs. The same applies to newspapers as well. Here just follow what Times O fIndia does…
(His phone rings and our conversation was interrupted)
(After a couple of minutes, he disengages the phone and looks at our reporter)
Hey, they invited me to some place called Dee Tee now..I got to go. If you have anything else to ask,call me up later.(gives his contact number)
MB: No problem.Thanks for the interview,yaar.Here’s small gift from Manipalblog.com. (hands over a book titled Pizza Porn)
RR: Thanks,dude..This title looks provocative..What’s this book about?
MB:It is a fictional novel based on manipal.
RR: Cool… chalo ciao.
(He leaves to Dee Tee in Skoda Superb) We called him up later to get his opinion on Dee Tee…
MB:(After revealing our identity on phone) How was Dee Tee.? It’s a legendary place in Manipal. What are your thoughts about it?
RR: Wonderful place it is… That host guy was like ‘even Old Monk tastes like a scotch in Dee Tee’… He was bang on!!The music, the atmosphere and those delicious ‘peanuts’…What a great feeling! But that feeling vanished as soon as I remembered Rajdeep Sardesai and his love for Old Monk … Bhencho!!
MB: (fakes laughter) hahaha..
RR: Anyways, I had a nice time in Manipal…Would love to come again..I shall take leave..Bye and take care.
MB: Bye. And thanks again for the interview.