Who would have thought that Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, which was established with the help of BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, would grill a cabinet colleague of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the extent that he would threaten to walk out of his TV show? That’s precisely what happened last week when Babul Supriyo appeared on Republic TV for an interview with Goswami.
This was after the singer-turned-politician had sensationally alleged that he was held captive by the students of Kolkata’s Jadavpur University. The development had garnered plenty of media space after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar arrived on the campus to ‘rescue’ Supriyo.
While interviewing Supriyo, Goswami grilled Supriyo on the allegations of sexual harassment made by a female student. He asked, “A postgraduate student in the university says that Babul Supriyo asked girls, ‘why are they wearing skimpy clothes?’ Babul Supriyo asked girls, ‘what do you come to the university for?’ And he (Supriyo) went on to tell a girl to join him in his room and he will show her who he really was.’ This is the allegation against you.”
Supriyo asked Goswami why he was asking these questions on allegations of sexual harassment, but Goswami continued saying, “My job is to ask the questions.” Supriyo denied allegations of sexual harassment.
When Supriyo accused the Jadavpur University students of orchestrating the attack on him, Goswami asked why his visit to the campus couldn’t have been ‘preplanned.’ Things began to take a turn for the worse for Supriyo. If he felt that Goswami would provide him with a favourable platform to talk about the Jadavpur University incident, he was sadly mistaken.
An exasperated Supriyo asked Goswami, “Why are you shouting?” Goswami replied, “I am not, but I can shout louder than you because you are not the only one with a loud voice. I am not a walkover, listen to me now.”
When Supriyo asked Goswami to allow him to complete his answer, Goswami reacted angrily, “How do you know my questions. Are you telepathic? Can you read my mind?” When the union minister showed a photo of a female student from his mobile phone, Goswami warned him to desist from defaming any students on his show.
Supriyo wanted to speak but Goswami told him bluntly, “You listen to me. This is my show.” me.” Supriyo yelled at Goswami threatening to walk out of the show. “I don’t want to be on your show. I will leave the show. If you want to be arrogant, I don’t want to be on your show,” he announced.
Goswami appeared determined to not be intimidated by Supriyo’s threats and said, “You can leave the show but you still need to listen to my questions.”
Supriyo did not leave the show only for Goswami to slam him further as he asked the union minister if he had decided to attack the Left forces soon because West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was beginning to meet top BJP leaders. “Is there a deal with Mamata Banerjee because of which you now turn your attention to the Left?”
This is not the only incident of Goswami giving grief to BJP leaders on his show lately. More recently, he had publicly shamed BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra for his party’s perceived hypocrisy on corruption and crimes against women.