Arun Shourie on Arnab’s call for gagging media, it’s good to shut down his programme


Renowned journalist and former union minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Arun Shourie has slammed Arnab Goswami for calling to gag a section of the media over the Kashmir coverage.

Also Read | This man (Arnab Goswami) is journalist? I am ashamed to be from same industry: Barkha Dutt

He said, “First, they (government) don’t pay any attention to what Arnab Goswami says. Secondly, if sections of the media are to be shut down, it’s good to shut down his (Arnab’s) programme. And the third, that’s not the way.

“It’s not a shutting down. The answer to what ,kind of journalism is a better kind of journalism, not shutting down. Certainly, not giving the rights to government. Readers should turn off, supposing they don’t like a particular channel or they don’t like some newspapers inflaming people, then don’t buy the newspapers, don’t watch the channels. What’s the question of shutting down. to yeah to bakwas hai.”

Arnab Goswami, Times Now channel’s editor-in-chief, had caused a huge controversy by allegedly calling for gagging a section of Indian media perceived critical of the central government particularly on Kashmir coverage.

Journalist Barkha Dutt had taken Arnab head on through a Facebook post by adding that she felt ashamed on being a part of the same industry which the Times Now’s editor also belonged to.

In her response to Arnab, she had written, “Times Now calls for gagging of media & for journalists to be tried &punished. This man is journalist?I am ashamed to be from same industry as him.

“What’s striking is his brazen and cowardly hypocrisy. So he drones on and on about Pro Pakistan Doves without one word on the JK alliance agreement that commits the BJP and PDP to talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat and is silent on Modi’s own Pakistan outreach- neither of which I object to- but since Arnab Goswami measures patriotism by such views why is he so silent on the government? Chamchagiri?

“Imagine, a journalist actually exhorts the government to shut down sections of the media, misrepresents them as ISI agents and terror sympathisers, calls for them to be tried and acted against.

“And our fraternity remains locked into politically correct and timid silence. Well I’m not a shrinking violet Mr. Goswami and no matter how many times you take my name directly or indirectly on your show, I really don’t give a toss for your opinion. I hope I will always be someone whose journalism you loathe, because trust me, the feeling is so utterly mutual that it would kill me to be on the same side of any issue as you.”

Arnab, often accused of towing right-wing agenda through his channel, had held a debate on the ongoing unrest in Kashmir on Tuesday night. He had launched a provocative hashtag on Twitter #ProPakDovesSilent.

This was believed to be an indirect reference to journalists including Barkha and others who often criticised the central government’s policy on both domestic and foreign affairs.