The Real News Behind AAJ KI BAAT/Today’s News

A radio show inspired by Arnab Goswami and Alex Jones
by Viniyata Pany & Divya Mangwani, Soho Rep. Writer / Director Lab 2019-21

Fact-checking the episodes:

  • The radio host Rahoul Roy and the actor Rahoul Roy are the same person: False
  • The Coca-cola Company operated under 100% foreign equity in India before the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1974: True
  • Drinking coca cola makes you shorter: False
  • Actor/singer Kishore Kumar was censored by All India Radio: True
  • Newspapers protested for the right to allow infiltrators enter India: False
  • The two print advertisements are fake: False
  • Food contaminated by newspaper ink poses health risk: True
  • Rahoul Roy’s wife Lata is a real person and not a made-up, fictional, propaganda piece to make the host more relatable: Unconfirmed

Historical background:

The President of India can declare a state of Emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution because of internal, external or financial threats to the country. The fundamental rights of citizens can be suspended during Emergency.

In June 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi issued a state of Emergency under a perceived threat to democracy, signed by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. The press was censored, some converted to state mouthpieces. Political opposition and dissenters were jailed and civil liberties revoked. The 21-month Emergency also gave rise to the BJP party that now governs India. A different kind of censorship now exists, along with state-sanctioned media.


Excerpts from Indira Gandhi’s speech:

“The President has proclaimed an emergency. This is nothing to panic about.

I am sure you are all conscious of the deep and widespread conspiracy which has been brewing ever since I began introducing certain progressive measure of benefit to the common man and woman of India in the name of democracy……This is not a personal matter……The actions of the few are endangering the rights of the vast majority……I should like to assure you that the new emergency proclamation will in no way affect the rights of law abiding citizens……”



Writer: Divya Mangwani

Divya Mangwani is a writer and theatre artist from India, now based in New York. She creates work that questions our perception of the political, social and mythical. She was the founder and Artistic Director of Moonbeam Factory Theatre, where she wrote, directed and produced plays that were staged in India, Singapore and the UK. In New York, she has developed plays with UNICEF, Soho Rep, NYTW, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Hypokrit Theatre, among others. Divya has worked as a journalist and editor and was a recent NYTW 2050 Artistic Fellow.


Sound designer: Viniyata Pany

Viniyata Pany is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. She makes objects, installations and performances. Her practice is rooted in focused listening and reflection on aural ecosystems. She has exhibited her work and performed at NYU, Babycastles, Littlefield and Target Margin Theatre. A graduate of ITP, Tisch School of the Arts, her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Verge, Huffington Post, Evening Standard and Breitbart among others.


Actor: Rahoul Roy

Rahoul Roy loves being a professional-amateur actor in New York.  Most recently Rahoul played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Hamlet Isn’t Dead’s production of 12th Night. Rahoul nearly had his Off-Broadway debut as an extremely stoic, liquor-store delivery man, who had to enter a scene, nod his head vigorously for a few very critical seconds and leave, but narrowly lost out to an actor with more vigor.  Rahoul is also a practicing attorney, a performance that has been dubbed by many as “particularly lifelike”.  Rahoul finds it strange to be talking about himself in the third person, but recognizes the inherent privilege in being able to do so. Also, Black Lives Matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *