Arnab Goswami dominated social media conversations on Wednesday after popular comedian Kunal Kamra shared a short video of his mid-air encounter with the Republic TV founder. In the video, Kunal was seen challenging Goswami for a debate but the latter chose to evade his questions by pretending to work on his electronic device. The video evoked angry reactions from the Hindutva brigade as Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri ordered the airlines to take coercive action against the comedian. IndiGo and Air India moved in with lightning speed to announce that they had acted on the minister’s ‘advice.’ However, Twitterati were quick to highlight the minister’s hypocrisy since Goswami himself had flaunted a similar action by his reporter, who had ambushed RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav earlier.
A beaming Goswami had announced to his audience that one of his news editors had managed to obtain a ‘super’ exclusive interview with Tejashwi, who the Republic TV founder addressed as ‘Lalu’s brat.’
Goswami had announced, “Our news editor Deepti has managed to interview Tejashwi, who’s Lalu’s brat, the person who everyone wants out of the Bihar government. Last heard, Nitish wanted him out. He’s flown straight to Delhi apparently for a meeting with another dynast, Rahul Gandhi. Let’s play the interview of Deepti with Tejashwi.”
In the next video, played on Republic TV, a woman carrying a Republic TV mic is seen approaching the then Bihar’s deputy chief minister for an interview, which he declines.
Here’s how the mid-air conversation went;
Republic TV: Tejashwi, hi. Can we quickly have a word with you? What happened in the meeting between you and Nitish ji? How was the meeting?
Tejashwi: This is not the right place to talk actually.
Republic TV: We don’t get to speak to you because you don’t speak to the media at all.
Tejashwi: We will, on time, we will.
Republic TV: Nitish ji, what did he say to you?
Tejashwi: People have to have their meal also, Let’s not disturb them.
Republic TV: It’s not about disturbing. I will only take two minutes…How was the meeting with Nitish ji?
Tejashwi: I don’t have to comment on everything.
Republic TV: Did Nitish ji bless you? Is he ok?
Tejashwi: It’s all OK, nothing to worry about.
Republic TV: Remember he said, you must give clarification in public domain..
Tejashwi: This is not the right place to talk.
Republic TV: Why is it not the right place to talk?
At this point, an airline crew member intervened and asked the representative from Republic TV to return to her seat. But, her response was of utter disdain when she menacingly looked at the crew and said, “One second. One second.”
In utter disdain to the requests from the crew member, the Republic TV representative continued with her hounding of Tejashwi prompting another woman crew member to ask her again to return to her seat.
Once again the representative from the channel replied by pointing a finger at the flight crew, “One second, one second.”
However, this time the crew member appeared to have taken a dim view of the continuous disregard by the Republic TV representative to their repeated requests. Soon an in-flight announcement was made, “I repeat, passengers are requested to return to their seats.”
One wonders why no action was taken against the Republic TV’s representative then. You can watch both the videos below and decide on the glaring hypocrisy here. If what Kunal did was wrong then, how was Goswami right in encouraging his representative to ambush an opposition politician mid-air?