Trust Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami for raising the temple pitch on the Ayodhya issue since the topic is closely associated with the the BJP’s agenda for this year’s Lok Sabha polls. It was, therefore, not surprising that Goswami decided to start his prime time debate on Thursday night with a high-octane discussion on the topic.
As expected, the studio soon turned chaotic as his carefully selected panelists made desperate attempts to outsmart each other. Even though, not interrupting the warring panelists appeared to suit Goswami’s TRP-seeking agenda, he did have adequate time to amply illustrate which side of the fence he sat on.
Making a strong case for the construction of the temple in Ayodhya, preferably ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Goswami launched a tirade against the Supreme Court, which recently cancelled its scheduled hearing on 29 January.
Goswami said, “I’ve been saying it for three months now. And I have been saying this for years before that. And I am hundred percent sure that so many of you feel the same way… That Ayodhya must be heard on priority. It is a priority. Solving the issue is a priority… If the courts of this country decide on Ayodhya, then the politics will not happen.”
Goswami said that he did not approve of the unilateral announcement by Hindu saints, who have promised to start the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya from 21 February. He, however, said that the unilateral announcement by Hindu saints to defy the Supreme Court had come because of the ‘delay’ caused by the judiciary.
Goswami then had a word of caution for the Supreme Court judges. He said, “Our Lordships need to introspect that can a matter, which directly affects hundreds of millions of people being put on a slow burner, a very slow burner if not, I am sorry to say, the back burner.”
Goswami wasn’t alone in batting for the proponents of the Ram Temple at the site, where the Babri Masjid stood till 6 December 1992. One of his newly recruited reporters turned up at the ongoing Kumbh mela dressed in a saffron attire. She was seen interviewing Hindu saints in clothes most commonly associated with a sadhavi or a sage.
Kavita Singh, who recently joined Republic TV for its Hindi operations, was spotted interviewing Hindu saints in Allahabad dressed as a sadhavi. Photos of Singh dressed as a sadhavi carrying out her journalistic duties have become a huge topic of discussion in several WhatsApp groups comprising TV journalists.
On Wednesday, a meeting of Hindu seers and religious leaders had announced that they would march to Ayodhya on 21 February to lay the foundation stone for a grand Ram temple at the disputed site. Shankracharya Swami Swaroopanand, according to news agency IANS, said that they would willingly go to jail or face bullets for the sake of the Ram temple.