Republic TV’s controversial anchor Arnab Goswami on Friday night launched a tirade against the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for the latter’s statement opposing the idea of boycotting Pakistan in this year’s World Cup cricket. Taking to Twitter, Sachin had said that while he remained a true nationalist, it would be a bad idea to let Pakistan walk away with a crucial two points if India decided to pull out of the World Cup match against Pakistan on 16 June.
Sachin had said, “India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament. Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart.”
This prompted Goswami to launch an all-out attack against the legend, who was conferred with the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the game. Conducting a debate on channel that he founded with the help of BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Goswami launched a hashtag #ShameOnAntiNationals and asked Sachin to ‘take his two points and put it in the dustbin.’
He even mocked the status of Sachin as ‘God of cricket’ among his fans and said, “I don’t believe in any Gods. Sachin Tendulkar is 100 percent wrong. Sachin Tendulkar, if he has any sense, he should realise that he should be the first person to say that don’t play with Pakistan.”
This prompted two panelists, namely political analyst Sudheendra Kulkarni and former AAP leader Ashutosh to walk out of the show in protest. Kulkarni told Goswami, “You are calling Sachin Tendulkar anti-national. You call Sunil Gavaskar anti-national. I am ashamed of you.” Ashutosh, for his part said that Goswami should be ashamed of himself for his attack on Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar.
Kulkarni later took to Twitter to express his disgust on Goswami. He wrote, “Tonight I walked out of @republic TV debate ‘cos #ArnabGoswami insinuated that people like me are anti-nationals. He insulted patriotic cricket legends like #SachinTendular & #SunilGavaskar. At a time when India needs to be united, he is practising “tukde tukde” line.”
— Sudheendra Kulkarni (@SudheenKulkarni) February 22, 2019
Goswami’s insult for Sachin evoked angry reactions from social media users including those with right-wing views. User Gursatinder Singh wrote, “Arnab Goswami has the cheeks to call Bharat Ratna
@sachin_rt as anti national. It’s time to call out this fraud and hate mongering anchor not only he is a fraud he is a liar as well he told lies about covering the Gujarat riots and was promptly called out by Rajdeep Sardesai.”
Another user Rohit tweeted sarcastically, “I mean the extraordinary sight of a two pence blowhard like Arnab Goswami calling SRT anti—national—& for what, is SRT a Minister, PM, in charge of security?—is just this malignancy where people need to invent villains because they can’t punish the one responsible.”
User Amitesh wrote, “Arnab Goswami is a dinosaur that should get extinct ASAP.” User Manoranjan Rout wrote, “This idiot
#ArnabGoswami is saying @sachin_rt as anti-national. Enough is enough.” Another user Proud Indian wrote, “Arnab with due respect to you i think you have gone too far because owner of Republic, how can you think Sunil & Sachin are wrong? and only you are perfect in democratic country which is India.”
Gavaskar too had said that boycotting Pakistan in the World Cup was like helping India’s hostile neighbour in the competition. He had said, “Who wins in that case if India decide not to play against Pakistan in the World Cup? And I am not even looking ahead to semifinals and finals. Who wins? Pakistan wins. They get two points. India has every time so far beaten them in the World Cup, so we are actually conceding two points when we could, by beating Pakistan (in the group stage), actually make sure that they don’t qualify for the knockout. I know emotions are running high, but that needs to be looked at with a little more depth.”
Goswami, during his show had also targeted Gavaskar for his comments against the boycott.