‘Move over Sambit Patra, we have a new national embarrassment’ in Nalin Kohli’


BJP’s Nalin Kohli is being described as the new national embarrassment replacing his party colleague Sambit Patra after his appearance on Al-Jazeera TV on World Press Freedom Day evoked considerable reactions. Kohli, a Supreme Court lawyer, was seen stuck for suitable answers on questions of Muslim immigrants being called termites by his party president Amit Shah and BJP fielding a terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur as its candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.

Sambit Patra


Kohli was asked to point to a governing party anywhere in the democratic world, which nominates candidates for office who are on trial for terrorism. Kohli advised the Al-Jazeera TV anchor Mehdi Hassan that he ought to have attended the hearing in the Supreme Court, which did not find ‘an iota of evidence’ against Sadhvi Pragya.

Since Kohli and his party leaders have grown used to not facing follow-up questions busting their lies, he was in for a rude shock when Mehdi asked, “Sorry, I am confused. May be I’m mistaken. She’s not on trial for terrorism?”

“No, she is. I’m saying that..” Kohli was forced to concede before Mehdi fired another question. Are you ok with someone who is on trial for terrorism standing in parliament?”

Kohli asked his interviewer to ‘go and read the judgement’ and inform his viewers. But Mehdi was in no mood to let Kohli get away yet. He asked, “So hold on. They (The Supreme Court) threw out the case. She is innocent. Is that what you are saying?”

“I never said that. I said she’s out on bail,” Kohli had concede one more time.

Pragya Thakur was NOT granted bail by the Supreme Court but the Bombay High Court on 25 April 2017. It remains to be seen if anyone moves the top court filing a contempt case against him.

The BJP spokesperson was also asked about Amit Shah’s controversial comments referring to Muslim immigrants in India as termites. Mehdi sought to know if Shah’s comments weren’t akin to dehumanising and Nazi-like language, which preceded ethnic cleansing and genocide across the world.

Kohli asked the anchor to understand the meaning of termite in the Indian context. He said, “Termite essentially and in India we are used to it because we do have a lot of termites, they come from the ground and they eat you up hollow from inside.” He then went on to explain how undocumented Muslim population had become a menace in the north-east states of India.

Kohli also defended his party colleague Anath Kumar Hegde for his comments that ‘as long as there’s Islam, there will be terrorism. Until we uproot Islam, we can’t remove terrorism.” According to Kohli, this was the individual opinion of Hegde even though he is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet and held a key ministry in the Indian government.

As expected, Kohli’s appearance and his discomfort in the face of a genuine interview evoked considerable reactions on social media.  Journalist Rohini Singh wrote, “Move over Sambit Patra, we have a new national embarrassment. Don’t know what Nalin Kohli should be more ashamed of- his cringeworthy defence of a terror accused or the fact that he made a fool of himself with his pomposity!”

Techie Prasanto Roy wrote sarcastically, “Why Muslim immigrants in India are indeed like termites who “rise up from the ground and eat you hollow”–and why this is not dehumanizing, Nazi-like language: @NalinSKohli explains carefully in lucid detail.”

Activist Kavita Krishnan wrote on Twitter, “Great interview, must watch. @mehdirhasan grills Nalin Kohli of BJP. When is the last time a BJP leader was subjected to such tough questioning by an Indian TV journalist? Or any journalist?”

Academic and columnist Ashok Swain wrote, “Some lessons for the Indian media on how to conduct an interview! Mehdi Hassan takes Nalin Kohli to the cleaners. Surprised that Nalin Kohli continued with this interview. On 29 Nov 2017, he walked out of a TRT World program after tough questions, in which I was a panelist.”

Here’s the link to full interview with Kohli:




  1. Bharatiya Jumla party is having so many such samples like Sambituddin Patra & Nalin koli .There two such samples in Gujarati media also named RAJU DHRUV & MAHESH KWSHWALA inquire with BHARATIYA JUMLA PARTYweb site & you will get them.

  2. CHOKIDAR Chor hai’s spoke persons far ahead of him.They do only FENKU BUSINESS on media channels which is original path of CHOKIDAR CHOR HAI MODI.

  3. That’s a very biased article. I’ve watched the full interview, where Nalin had good responses to the questions posed by Anchor. Even on the front of Sadhvi Pragya, he never denied that she is an accused, but on the contrary he asked the journalist to let your bias be cleared by reading the judgement and observations of the Court. You are presenting a very fake view, may be intentional, and I request the readers to please view the interview yourself and then pass a judgement. Shocked to an extent by the hooked nature of article. This particular channel has a Muslim world centric opinions and debates, quite like the biased channels like Zee and Republic in India. How can you fall in their propaganda. And by the way can anybody tell me, where the grilling took place. I couldn’t find that.


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