Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami returned to present his daily debate show on Wednesday night after a week of absence, only to raise the war pitch, calling for an all out revenge in Kashmir even at the cost of ‘collateral damage.’ He also expressed his displeasure on the violence in West Bengal by launching a Twitter hashtag, #BengalBurning, before showering praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his new approach to embrace minorities particularly Muslims. The controversial anchor, however, decided to take his hypocrisy to a new low by completely ignoring the arrest and subsequent torture of a TV journalist by the GRP personnel in Uttar Pradesh.
A journalist working for TV channel, News 24, on Wednesday had alleged that he was brutally beaten by the Uttar Pradesh Police personnel after he arrived in Shamli to cover the derailment of a train. The video of Amit Sharma being thrashed mercilessly had gone viral on social media. He was later locked up in a police station and allegedly urinated in his mouth by a cop.
Left red-faced by widespread condemnation, the UP Police had moved with lightning speed to suspend the guilty cops before registering an FIR against police personnel. The TV channel owned by Anuradha Prasad, sister of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, has demanded the dismissal and immediate arrest of the guilty cops from service.
[Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel]
This news dominated the headlines of almost every media outlet in India all throughout Wednesday as the development sent shockwaves across the glove. While Goswami held a debate on the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, violence in Bengal and Modi’s minority outreach programme, he simply could not care to utter a word on the arrest and the subsequent torture of one of his own fraternity members.
His silence smacked of his glaring hypocrisy since not too long ago, he was seen raising the decibel in his studio accusing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of launching a crackdown against a BJP worker, Priyanka Sharma. Sharma was arrested by the Bengal Police for sharing a meme mocking Banerjee on Facebook. The Supreme Court had later ordered her release on bail.
Goswami had spent no time in organising an hour-long debate on his channel while slamming the Bengal government. He had said, “When there’s Bharat Tere Tukde Honge slogans, they call it freedom of speech. When urban naxals were arrested, they called them activists not Maoists and outraged like crazy on social media. The same people who claimed there was an atmosphere of intolerance in India have gone missing. Do you know where they are viewers? A 26-year-old posted a meme and got arrested. The Supreme Court had to intervene.” (You can watch that debate below)
He had demanded to know the whereabouts of Bollywood actors Naseeruddin Shah and other ‘members of the award wapsi brigade’ since they had criticised the BJP-led government at the Centre for creating the atmosphere of intolerance in the past.
However, on Wednesday, Goswami chose to remain silent when a member of his own fraternity had been brutalised by cops in a state ruled by the BJP.
Goswami was, however, at his best while calling for an ‘all out’ cleansing of all ‘vermin’ from Kashmir to avenge the Wednesday’s terror attack in Anantnag killing five CRPF soldiers. He said that an all out attack even at the cost of some ‘collateral’ damage was needed to instill fear of security forces amongst the local population.
He also dedicated nearly 40 minutes in discussing just how alarming the situation had become in West Bengal as he launched the hashtag #BengalBurning once again. He concluded the show by showering praises on Modi for his minority outreach programme. While discussing the violence in Bengal, a panelist sympathetic to the Trinamool Congress alleged racism on his show after a right-wing guest questioned his Bengali origin.