Arnab Goswami is usually seen shouting his guests down or being shouted at by those panelists whose views don’t match with that of the Republic TV founder. However, on Friday night, Goswami was in for a pleasant surprise as he interviewed India’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, live on his programme.
Elated by this unique editorial opportunity, Goswami stopped his ongoing debate and shouted at BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who was busy making his point on the issue of Kashmir. Goswami yelled, “One minute, Sambit Patra. Our hero of today, India’s ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin is live with us. Mr Syed Akbaruddin, are you able to hear me? I am Arnab Goswami speaking. You are live on both Republic TV and Republic Bharat.”
Akbaruddin replied, “Arnab, who doesn’t recognise your voice? The whole of India knows that and even I know that. I have heard you many times and I can hear you very clearly.”
This unexpected praise by the popular Indian diplomat left Goswami blushing as he couldn’t stop smiling. Addressing Akbaruddin, Goswami said, “Congratulations to you on behalf of Republic TV for the way you answered every single question (during the press conference). You took 12 questions. We are very proud of you Akbaruddin ji.”
“Thank you very much Arnab,” replied Akbaruddin. The Indian diplomat continued, “I only owe to all of you for the privilege that I can represent a country such as ours and it’s just my good fortune that I was here.”
Akbaruddin revealed that barring two countries every other nation understood India’s stand on Kashmir. When Goswami asked India’s UN ambassador to reveal those countries’ names, Akbaruddin used a cricketing analogy stating that what ‘passes off in the players’ room is left in the players’ room.’ Goswami thanked his guest by using a title of a popular Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar (He who wins is the conqueror).”
Goswami was discussing Friday’s extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the issue of Kashmir. Akbaruddin had told reporters, “These have no external ramifications, the recent decisions taken by the government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, social-economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.”
However, the Chinese Ambassador at the UN had adopted a pro-Pakistan line by accusing India of challenging ‘China’s sovereign interests and violating bilateral agreements’ with constitutional amendments on Jammu and Kashmir.