Arnab Goswami, who launched Republic TV earlier this year with the help of NDA’s Rajya Sabha MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and BJP supporter, Mohandas Pai, faced the brunt of angry Malayalis on Tuesday.
Thousands of Malayali social media users took to Facebook to downgrade the official Facebook of Republic TV. They were also joined by like-minded users from across India as the Republic TV’s page’s ratings fell to 2 out of 5 stars. Within minutes, more than 24 thousand users had rated the channel’s page to 1 star, the lowest rating available.
Malayalis were angry over Goswami’s desperate attempts to portray Kerala in negative light in view of the ongoing political violence involving RSS workers and CPI-M activists in the southern Indian state, where the BJP is desperately trying to gain foothold. The frequent skirmishes had prompted Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to visit Kerala earlier this week.
Goswami, in his inimitable style, had hosted a debate on 4 August asking that ‘the nation wants to know who is behind these political murders and can the Left be tolerant to the merciless butchery of RSS workers in the state of Kerala?’
Goswami appeared visibly upset over the death of a 27-year-old RSS worker in the state. But his biased stand on the political violence isn’t the only issue that angered Malayalis. Goswami has also left many Malayalis incredibly incensed for his relentless biased coverage on the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the late wife of a prominent MP from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor, according to an overwhelming majority of TV viewers, has been a victim of Goswami’s kangaroo-court trial for many years now, starting from his days as the editor-in-chief of Times Now.
Tharoor has even moved court seeking injunction on Goswami’s coverage against him in the murder case of Pushkar. The High Court has directed the Republic TV founder to respect Tharoor’s right to silence. The Congress MP has also filed a defamation case against Goswami and Republic TV.
On Tuesday, more than 57,000 users rated Republic TV’s Facebook page 1 star prompting the channel to disable the review option temporarily. The channel’s page had 4 ratings before the outrage began. Soon the rating fell to just 2. As the news spread, the right-wing groups, who Goswami allegedly caters to, joined and began to work on improving the ratings of the page.
As things stood, The channel’s overall rating was 2.5 with 57, 000 users giving it 1 star rating while 38,000 reviewing it as a 5 star page.
As Republic disabled its review option on Facebook, angry Malayalis took to Google playstore downgrading the ratings for its mobile application.
Here are some of the comments posted by angry users;