Arnab Goswami on Monday looked so frightened of potential reprisals by the Shiv Sena that he had to hurriedly cut his guest short, who had begun to make seemingly insulting comments for late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray.
This was after a guest, identified as Shantanu, told Goswami, “We have to ask (Maharashtra Chief Minister) Uddhav Thackeray. Will he produce the cremation certificate of Balasahab Thackeray?”
Realising that this could potentially land Goswami and his Republic TV in deep trouble since they are headquartered in Mumbai, Goswami abruptly cut the guest short as he said with a sense of trepidation, “No No No, No personal comments. Thank you very much.”
What appeared to compound Goswami’s woes was an AIMIM leader demanding an apology from Shantanu for insulting Bal Thackeray, who he said was a great Maratha leader. A visibly frightened Goswami said, “I agree with that, Shantanu you can clarify. I do not agree with any reference made to Balasahab Thackeray.”
Goswami was conducting a debate with an aim to prove that the secular mask of the Congress and the NCP was finally off. He started his show with his usual rant as he said, “The Congress says it formed the government in Maharashtra on the instruction of the Muslim community. Now I want to understand what exactly they mean by that.”
Goswami said that the secular mask of Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar was off. He was referring to a statement made by Congress leader Ashok Chavan claiming that Muslims had advised the party to form an alliance with the Shiv Sena since the BJP was the biggest enemy of the community.
Goswami kept playing a video purportedly showing Ashok Chavan make the controversial remarks. Goswami also played a clip of Maharashtra minister Jitendra Ahwad where he was seen asking Hindus to be fearful of the NRC since they would have more difficulties in proving their identity as Indians.
Ahwad, according to Republic TV, was saying at a public event, “Hindu brothers are here, Kamble sir is here. Can you tell me where your grandfathers were cremated? Listen to me patiently, please listen to me. You can laugh and clap after reaching home.”
Ahwad was trying to prove a point that while Muslims could establish where their ancestors were buried, Hindus would find it difficult to prove their links with their ancestors thereby landing themselves in trouble whenever the NRC is rolled-out.