After days of bravado, right-wing commentator Abhijit Iyer-Mitra issues apology


The motormouth right-wing journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra has apologised to people of Odisha and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. His unexpected apology came after a House Committee of the Odisha Assembly directed him to appear before it on 23 October.

Scared over the potential consequences of his brazenness and hurting the sentiments of people in the state, Iyer-Mitra told news agency ANI that he had always held Odisha in ‘high regard. He said, “One of the reasons I visited was to look at history & contribution to Indian culture.I love Odisha. My Twitter account is more for fun, not professional.”

Then came the apology. “If you read my research writing, a lot of it is always praising Odisha.Some of the nastier things I said about CM, the office, the Assembly,I was under immense stress & I would like to apologise for that unreservedly,” Iyer Mitra added.

He was briefly arrested in Delhi last month hurting the religious sentiments of Odiya people during his recent visit to Odisha. While in Odisha, Mitra had shot a video of himself inside the Konark temple while poking fun at the the deities’ idols engraved on the walls of the temple. He had called it a ‘monumental conspiracy against the Hindu Civilisation’ by Muslims. He had said that this was not a temple but a hu**le, where people humped each other.”

The topic had become hugely controversial in Odisha, where hundreds of thousands of people demanded his arrest and also action against the expelled BJD MP Jay Panda. It was Panda, who had flown Mitra in his helicopter around Odisha.

Iyer-Mitra’s reported arrest had come just hours after Janta Ka Reporter through his adventures involving two journalists from Delhi. exclusively published the analysis by famous academic Ashok Swain, who wrote an incisive piece to conclude Panda may have committed a political suicide   

Reacting to his apology, known academic and columnist Ashok Swain wrote, “Loudmouths are loud because they are cowards!” Journalist Swati Chaturvedi tweeted, “I don’t even know this creepy man & he kept tweeting garbage about me.”