A black screen is the one thing that television professionals dread.
But NDTV India's Ravish Kumar, often credited with being a strongest voice of conscience and reason in TV journalism in India, used just that on his show PrimeTime on Friday.
Calling upon viewers to understand the darkness that news anchors create on television night after night with their angry screaming, he tells the viewers "Yeh andhera hi aaj ki TV ki tasveer hai (this darkness is the picture of television today)."
His voice playing in the background, Kumar asks how shouting can be the solution or even a mode of questioning by news anchors.
In a 40-minute monologue Kumar questions, among other things, the style of TV debates, definitions of nationalism, the nature of the Kashmir problem, and the incitement by news anchors labelling people traitors and anti-nationals.
On Kashmir, he points out, the People's Democratic Party – with whom the Bharatiya Janata Party seeks a continuation of their alliance to rule Jammu and Kashmir – considers Afzal Guru a martyr. If we start answering such questions with broad strokes of yes and no, we will become a herd, which won't be good for our democracy, he asserts.
After highlighting pertinent aspects of the current JNU controversy and the media's coverage of it, the show then plays audio clips of different news debates. He reminds people that nothing has yet been proven in the case and that the darkness of the screen is atonement for what has been played out by news channels in the past few days.