Arnab Goswami returned to host his Sunday Debate show after a gap of two weeks and he chose his favourite topic of Article 370 and coverage by foreign news outlets on Jammu and Kashmir to kickstart the debate. However, he was left red-faced on several occasions as his guests countered him with arguments.
Targeting news agencies such as the BBC and Aljazeera, Goswami said, in his introduction, “At the core of this debate is that journalism is not speaking without facts. At the core of this debate, journalism is not a platform for venting unsubstantiated opinions….Journalism and the job of the media is to put out information, which is verified and the only pillar to be true is to be true to the pillar of truth.”
Goswami started his debate by confessing that he too had his own ideology but denied having ever allowed his personal belief to influence the so-called journalism of his TV channel. Goswami said that he believed that good journalism was based on nationalism.
Goswami started his debate by running down foreign news brands such as the BBC and Aljazeera for their coverage on Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. He was reminded by one of his guests, Rahul Singh, that the BBC remained the most credible news brand across the world. Singh, a senior journalist himself, told Goswami that the Republic TV founder may not have been born during 1971 Bangladesh war when the entire population in Bangladesh listened to the BBC World Service radio for an accurate account of the war.
A visibly upset Goswami replied saying that the three-fourth population of India wasn’t born during 1971 war. To which Singh said without losing his composure, “I am trying to make you more knowledgeable. That’s all.”
This wasn’t the only time that Goswami found himself in a spot of bother. At one point he addressed a Muslim guest as a ‘prophet of doom’. He said, “as they say in Urdu Qayamat ke nabi. Don’t be a Qayamat ke nabi.” The Muslim guest promptly countered by asking, “So you admit that this is qayamat? So you’ve admitted there’s a qayamat (doomsday).”
This appeared to leave Goswami in a fix as he decided to shift his attention to other guests.
At one point, Goswami also revealed why he had become so ‘uncivilised’ but he held his guests responsible for the adverse transformation of his personality traits. “I used to be a civilised man once till all of you came in my life. And that’s when things changed. I was soft-spoken. I was empathetic and understanding.”
One of the guests interrupted to declare that he did not believe Goswami on ever possessing such qualities. Goswami replied, “Then start believing now.”