Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami on Wednesday night stunned the viewers of his prime time debate when he decided to go after the bigot, who had cancelled his order on Zomato after learning that the delivery boy was Muslim. Zomato had earned plaudits for its refusal to succumb to the bullying of right-wing fanatics, who threatened to boycott the food delivery app. Goswami called Zomato’s refusal to cow down to bigots as the beginning of another national movement against hatemongers in the Indian society.
Arnab Goswami announced on his show, “Ladies and gentlemen, hatemongers and bigots deserve to be called out, shamed and socially boycotted. Tonight, leading food delivery app Zomato shut up one such bigot.” Goswami added later in the programme, “Kudos to Zomato for its response and this bigot needed to be publicly shamed.”
The Republic TV founder was, however, pained to see the act of a bigot being used to malign the whole of India. He said, “Every bigot doesn’t represent all Indians. So, it’s hyper-foolish for pro-Pakistan Mehbboba Mufti to ask ‘has bigotry been normalised?’ Of course not. Mehbooba Mufti, you should be out of your mind to talk like that. Every Muslim fanatic is not all Muslims. Every Hindu fanatic is not all Hindus.”
Goswami’s comments were in response to a tweet by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had asked if bigotry in India had been normalised. Her tweet had read, “Has bigotry been normalised to the extent now where bigots refuse food orders/ taxi services because the employee is ‘non-hindu’ / euphemism for a muslim? Kum say kum Khaaney ko toh baksho. Full credit to @ZomatoIN for not caving in & standing their ground.”
Has bigotry been normalised to the extent now where bigots refuse food orders/ taxi services because the employee is ‘non-hindu’ / euphemism for a muslim? Kum say kum Khaaney ko toh baksho. Full credit to @ZomatoIN for not caving in & standing their ground.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 31, 2019
Goswami said that he had a sense of satisfaction that the ‘lobby’ did not hold a ‘candle-march’ on the topic. “This is how to respond. “One bigot, one company, one response. khatam (finish).” He then shifted his attack to his former NDTV colleague Barkha Dutt by poking fun at her column that regularly appears in The Washington Post.
He said, “Move on. Don’t start writing your $500 pieces in an American rag in response. That doesn’t work. This is my view.” Last week, Goswami had launched an all-out attack against Dutt, who called him ‘dangerous drivel.’ Goswami had responded by calling Dutt ‘currently unemployed, permanently unemployable Radia type journalist.’ (You can read that report in full here).
Demanding strict action against the bigot, Goswami said, “I am a Hindu and I feel appalled that a case is not being filed against him. These people give the country a bad name.”
Arnab Goswami’s tirade against the bigot is refreshing and assumes significance in light of the former’s support for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bigot Pandit Amit Shukla from Madhya Pradesh is also a known BJP supporter.