Read an excerpt from Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV by Rajesh Sundaram
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Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV is Rajesh Sundaram’s story of how he led a small team of Indian broadcast professionals and South African interns to launch the television news channel ANN7.

Sundaram and his team were under extremely tight deadlines, with the power-grabbing and money-hungry mogul Atul Gupta and his cronies breathing down their necks.

All this results in Sundaram quitting his job in a public spat, while his life is threatened, his health deteriorates and his continued loyalty to the vulnerable at ANN7 is tested.

Read an excerpt, as published on IOL:

Durban – The second meeting with President Zuma happened in July.

“He feels good if we give him the feeling that he is moulding the news station. It is always good to have the head of state on your side.

“He will give us some suggestions. We do not have to follow all his suggestions, but we will make polite noises and we will follow the suggestions that are acceptable to us,” Atul told me before the meeting, reiterating a point his brother and he had made many times before.

Like the previous one, this meeting took place on a Sunday morning.

Ashu Chawla came in his car to pick us up from the Midrand office.

He was mostly silent during the ride to President Zuma’s residence in Pretoria.

He seemed preoccupied and kept checking his phone for messages as he drove.

“Have you lived here for long, Mr Chawla?” Arun asked him. “Yes, 17 years. I have been with Atul ji right through at Sahara Computers,” he said with a rare smile through his moustache.

“So you are a regular South African then?” Arun asked. “Yes,” Ashu replied, curtly.

He then played a CD with raunchy Hindi Bollywood songs referred to in India as ‘item numbers’.

“So you have a taste for ‘item numbers’, Mr Chawla. Now that’s a facet of your personality that we never knew about,” Arun teased Ashu.

He smiled sheepishly and continued driving. Arun had run out of topics to strike up a conversation, and Ashu was silent throughout the remainder of the journey.

Categories Non-fiction South Africa South African Current Affairs

Tags Book excerpts Book extracts Indentured: Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV Jacana Media Rajesh Sundaram

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