Arnab Goswami on Tuesday night decided to dedicate a segment of his prime time debate, albeit seemingly reluctantly, to the recent comments made by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who reportedly defended his 2017 remarks calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a lowly person. Little did Goswami realise that his debate will leave even his own supporters seething and prompt them to demand a boycott of his channel, Republic TV.
Starting the debate, Goswami said in an unusually brief introduction, “In 2017 they made the comment and were forced to apologise. The Congress has once again unleashed Mani Shankar Aiyar, who’s repeated the neech comment.”
Nishant Verma, who was introduced as a political analyst on the show, had a go at one Niqhat Abbas, who was seen putting up a fierce defence for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP. He told Abbas that she should feel ashamed for defending a party, whose Himachal Pradesh’s state president had recently abused Sonia Gandhi, mother of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Verma asked why BJP had not sacked Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti for crossing limits of decency in public discourse when he used the ‘mother fu***r’ jibe for Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Addressing an election rally, Satti had slammed Gandhi for using the Chowkidar Chor Hai jibe for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had said, “If you say that this country’s watchman is a thief, then you are a mother fu**er.” Satti’s abusive rant for Rahul Gandhi had received a loud round of applause from his supporters.
Continuing his attack on the BJP and its supporting guests on Republic TV, Verma also alleged that the saffron party was involved in selling women on the internet. He said, “You want to know if Modi is a lowly person or not. He is. Modi is a lowly person, his people are lowly too….Mohtarma, let me talk to Arnab because I can at least have a conversation with him. If I say something to a woman, then there may be trouble….BJP people abuse women, BJP people sell women on internet. BJP people are rapists. And you are supporting them. Shame on you.”
Verma’s allegations that BJP sells women on the internet evoked angry reactions on social media as Twitterati slammed Arnab Goswami for providing the former a platform to attack the BJP and Modi. Such was the anger among BJP supporters that they even threatened to boycott Republic TV if Goswami did not ban Verma on his channel in future.
One Chowkidar Yogesh Saxena wrote, “Arnab why you invite goons like Nishant Verma,it is degrading your channel.” Another user Krishna Kumar Garg wrote, “Arnab why you called bas****s like Nishant Verma. If it is you TRP. Shutup republic TV.”
Goswami’s regular panelist Ratan Sharda wrote, “How can @republic allow #Nishant to talk of @BJP4India auratein bechati hain? He should’ve been thrown out immediately #Arnab? I am shocked beyond words. I am correct in refusing to be on panel where such obscene people appear.”
Chowkidar Ayush Agarwal wrote, “Boycott @republic @Republic_Bharat @ArnabGoswamiRtv @sucherita_k soory di plz ur tv channel has to stop calling nishant verma on your debates can’t take insult on PM mother who he does not even know.” User Raju Krishna wrote, “Such a cheapo you call on your show @republic and expect the audience to watch him jeer women panelists. Lowering the discourse of politics and debating Nishant is. Prefer boycotting if you are inviting him in every debate,”
Goswami has often faced condemnation and threats of boycott from critics of the Modi government in the past. This is the first time that Goswami and his channel have faced threats of boycott from his own fans.