BJP’s motormouth spokesperson Sambit Patra is known for spewing venom against India’s Muslims and insulting fellow panelists on TV shows. Not too long ago, while taking part in a debate show on India Today, he had disparagingly addressed a Congress spokesperson as Rahul Gandhi’s dog.
His comments had caused huge outrage on social media, forcing the show’s anchor and veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai to issue an apology.
On Friday, Patra was once again back on another channel of the the India Today Group, Aaj Tak. The topic of the debate was the controversy surrounding the name changing spree of BJP governments in states across India. BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have recently found themselves in the news for changing or suggesting to change the Muslim-sounding names of historic cities.
Sambit to MIM spokesman “Aye Suno Allah ke bhakt ho to baith jao warna kisi masjid ka naam badal kar bhagwan Vishnu ke naam rakh doonga” pic.twitter.com/agM2ClA8SN
— Ravi Ratan (@scribe_it) November 9, 2018
During the debate on Aaj Tak a leader of the AIMIM implied that by changing the name of Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium to Atal Bihari Vajpayee stadium, the BJP had disrespected the Hindu God Vishnu. Last week, reacting to the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to rename Ekana Stadium, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav had said that Ekana was also the name of Lord Vishnu.
No sooner had the AIMIM representative completed his point on Ekana and its connection to Lord Vishnu, Patra appeared to lose his cool as he resorted to intimidation and loose talk. He asked the AIMIM panelist if he considered himself the follower of Allah or Vishnu. To which, the AIMIM spokesperson replied that whilst he was a follower of Allah, he also respected other religions. An angry Patra reacted menacingly, “Then, don’t shout and sit down. Sit down. (Or else) We will change the name of any mosque to Lord Vishnu, then you will keep shouting.”
What was astonishing was the silence of the show’s anchor, who only reacted when the AIMIM spokesperson raised his objections to Patra’s words. The anchor asked both the panelists to drink water to cool themselves down!