Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami on Friday invited former IAS topper Shah Faesal to discuss the extraordinary political developments in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Goswami’s conversation with Faesal took an extraordinary turn as the anchor began to address the bureaucrat-turned-politician disparagingly while asking him to leave India and settle in the US. In response, Faesal said that he will shut down Goswami’s channel if voted to power in the next assembly elections.
Goswami began his programme on Republic TV by asking Faesal if he was with India or against it. He said, “Time has come for you to announce your positions clearly. If you are against India, then don’t speak openly so.”
Faesal said that he wasn’t sure if Goswami had read Kashmir’s history properly or he struggled to understand the local culture of the valley. This attack by Faesal left Goswami visibly rattled as he stopped for a few seconds before reminding the former IAS officer how he was sent to the US by the Indian government.
Faesal denied Goswami’s assertion and said that he was not sent by the Indian government adding that his visit to the US was a part of an exchange programme. This was the final trigger for Goswami to launch an all-out personal attack on his Kashmiri guest as he called him a traitor. “Don’t use this language of Mir Jaafar with me. You keep repeating America. What does America give you?”
Goswami later told Faesal that he was not so important adding that ‘the issue is important.’ Faesal responded, “You (Arnab Goswami) are not important (too) in Kashmir…I must give credit to you for destroying the idea of India in Kashmir.” Faesal also called Goswami ‘the worst brand ambassador of India in Kashmir.’
The conversation kept getting uglier as Goswami once addressed Faesal as beta (son) while asking him to leave India and settle in the US. “Jao beta jao, kisne roka hai tumhe. Arre bhai agli flight se isko bhejo. (Go son go, who has stopped you? Somebody please send him by the next flight.),” Goswami announced. Faesal said,” I will remain here to cause headache to you. You will have to run this show a million times more.”
Faesal then warned Goswami, “The day I come to power, I will shut down your channel.”
Goswami later also played the clip of his interview with Shah Faesal during his prime time debate.
Faesal, who resigned from the services in January this year in protest against the ‘unabated killings in Kashmir,’ later formed his own political outfit Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.
Jammu and Kashmir has dominated the news agenda for several days after several reports said that the central government was planning a massive crackdown in the valley. Abdullah had earlier tweeted that Gulmarg was being emptied. He had written, “Friends staying in hotels in Gulmarg are being forced to leave. State road transport Corpn buses are being deployed to bus people out from Pahalgam & Gulmarg. If there is a threat to the yatra why is Gulmarg being emptied?”
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday evening told a delegation of state politicians to ‘maintain calm and not believe rumours.’ The speculations gained momentum after a government advisory asked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists to cut short their stay and leave in view of potential terror threats.