Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami was once again an angry man on Tuesday night and this time his target was not the Congress party, but a foreigner called Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter. Goswami was incensed that Dorsey had agreed to pose for the cameras by holding a painting with a caption reading ‘Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy.’ This was after the photo of Dorsey posing with a group of woman journalists went viral.
For Goswami and his carefully selected agreeable panelists, this was a direct attack on Hinduism and how this manifested anti-Hindu biases that the popular social media platforms allegedly harboured.
In his intermittent rant throughout the show, Goswami called Twitter a dying platform even as he actively promoted a hashtag #TwitterControversy on the same platform! The screen of his Republic TV was also seen religiously showing a real time tweet count under the same hashtag.
Goswami said, “I think Twitter is absolutely biased. Twitter is prejudiced. Twitter is using people, I often say this that Twitter benefits from social media traction that we give it. Twitter is nothing but a pay thing in the hands of Lutyens media. They have a class problem with the rest of the country.”
The Republic TV founder did not stop here. In his next rant, he called Twitter a dying social media platform. “First of all, come down to earth, you are a dying social media company. You are not here to save India. Save yourself first.” This was in response to a reported statement by Twitter, which said that as a global company it believed in engaging with all kinds of people.
Goswami’s criticism of Twitter calling it a dying platform coincided with his channel giving a desperate push to promote Republic TV’s Twitter hashtag on its screen. But the perceived hypocrisy wasn’t just confined to Goswami. His right-wing panelists appeared determined to compete with him on the double-standards game.
One panelist Rajiv Malhotra, also a known Hindutva flag-bearer, asked India to develop its own microblogging site in place of Twitter. “India should create its own social media like China is doing. Twitter needs India more than India needs Twitter,” Malhotra said. Malhotra had famously advocated setting up of a fund, which could help rich people such as Bill Gates in their next reincarnation in the event that they were born in a poverty-stricken family somewhere in Africa! (Watch video below)
Rajiv Malhotra(video) is recently appointed as honorary visiting Prof at JNU.
His logics are beyond the limits of Shri Shri Shri Narendrlal D Modi & Shri Shri Biplab Deb.
— Stinger™ (@imStinger01) October 31, 2018
Another gem came from an individual called Anand Ranganathan, a prolific right-wing Twitter user.
On Tuesday, he said on Republic TV, “Arnab, the bias of Twitter is well known, I mean this is not something you discovered just today. If you remember, there was a time when Twitter did not allow people to apply for the blue tick, at that time India’s greatest journalists Chitra Subramaniam and Sucheta Dalal, who had lakhs of followers were not verified.”
Incidentally, both Subramaniam and Ranganathan have verified Twitter accounts. This shows just how ‘biased’ Twitter has been in its attitude towards right-wing Hindutva trolls.
Ranganathan had faced criticisim on Twitter, soon after the last tweet of Shujaat Bukhari went viral. In that tweet, Bukhari had made his displeasure known to Ranganathan, who was given a platform by a think tank group, ORF, to vilify the slain journalist in his absence hours before he was assassinated.
The glaring hypocrisy by Arnab and his panelist friends did not go unnoticed on Twitter. One user wrote, “Hypocrisy at its very best.” Another Twitter user wrote, “Anything for TRPs and Retweets!!” “I don’t watch @republic Debates or Bigboss and I can’t tell the difference between the 2. Nothing civilised about the way people argue,” commented another user.