Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was attacked on the wee hours of Thursday at 12:15 AM by Congress workers in Mumbai. The attack by Congress party workers against Arnab Goswami had come as a result after Sonia Gandhi was questioned by the senior journalist over her silence on Palghar mob lynching. Much happened since the attack. Congress leader Alka Lamba patted Youth Congress’ back for attacking Arnab Goswami, the ‘liberal’ trolls celebrated the attack and the Mumbai Police refused to name Congress in the FIR even though the identity of the attackers was reportedly clear. Now, the Press Council of India has joined the never-ending stream of media shamelessness and released a statement that essentially downplays the attack against Arnab Goswami and shames him, the victim, instead of Congress.
The Press Statement released by the Press Council of India ceremoniously condemns the attack against Arnab Goswami, but, with riders.
How the Press Council of India downplayed the attack, shamed Arnab Goswami and failed to mention Congress
Firstly, it calls the attack against the veteran journalist an ‘alleged’ attack. The Press Council, by calling the attack itself an ‘alleged’ attack is essentially toeing the Congress line where they have spent the day weaving conspiracy theories either saying Arnab Goswami is lying or saying that the attack was arranged by Arnab Goswami himself in order to gain TRP. Both of these are ridiculous arguments considering the video of the condition of the car is public, Arnab Goswami has filed an FIR and the assailants, whose Facebook profiles clearly identify them as Youth Congress workers, flaunting their pictures with Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, are in the public domain.
If that display of shamelessness was not enough for the Press Council of India, it then went on to say that even journalists who practice “bad journalism” should not be attacked.
“Violence is not the answer even against bad journalism”, the statement read.
By adding this sentence in the statement, the Press Council of India has done two things. One, it has branded Arnab Goswami a “Bad journalist” and two, express sympathy with the attackers saying that they understand the angst the attackers felt against Arnab Goswami’s “bad journalism” but they should not have indulged in violence.
According to the website of the PCI,
The Press Council of India was first set up in the year 1966 by the Parliament on the recommendations of the First Press Commission with the object of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press in India. The present Council functions under the Press Council Act, 1978. It is a statutory, quasi-judicial authority functioning as a watchdog of the press, for the press and by the press. It adjudicates the complaints against and by the press for violation of ethics and for violation of the freedom of the press respectively.
The Press Council is headed by a Chairman, who has by convention, been a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Council consists of 28 other members of whom 20 represent the press and are nominated by the press organisations/news agencies recognised and notified by the Council as all India bodies of categories such as editors, working journalists and owners and managers of newspaper and news agencies, five members are nominated from the two Houses of Parliament and three represent cultural, literary and legal fields as nominees of the Sahitya Academy, University Grants Commission and the Bar Council of India. The members serve on the Council for a term of three years. A retiring member shall be eligible for renomination for not more than one term.
The Council is funded by the revenue collected by it as fee levied on the registered newspapers in the country on the basis of their circulation. No fee is levied on newspapers with circulation less than 5000 copies. The deficit is made good by way of grant by the Central Government.
The Press Council is essentially a body that is funded by the taxpayer and is run by an elite coterie of Lutyens journalist who believe they can still decide what should or should be journalism in India. Interestingly, the PCI hardly ever takes action against real fake news spread by several journalists and channels, many of whom are members of the PCI themselves.
However, it has resorted to pettiness when it comes to condemning a physical attack on a veteran journalist simply because he does not seem to toe the line set by the established cabal of journalists.
Furthermore, while the two men in custody for the attack clearly have Congress links, not a word of condemnation against Congress has been included in the statement. In fact, much like the Mumbai Police, which is under a Chief Minister who is currently a yes-man of the Congress Party, the PCI too seems to be extremely fearful of naming the Congress party run by the mighty Sonia Gandhi.
The attack against Arnab Goswami
In the intervening night of 22nd and 23rd April, after his regular edit call post the 10 PM debate, Arnab Goswami and his wife were driving back home when two bike-borne assailants attacked their car. According to our sources, the assailants parked their bike in front of Arnab Goswami’s car in order to get him to stop the car and then attacked it. Arnab Goswami and his wife have escaped unhurt. The assailants, after attacking the car and trying to break the windows, also threw ink at the car. According to Republic TV, the goons confessed that they were from Congress and the attack took place only 500 meters away from Goswami’s residence, according to Republic TV.
In a video released after the attack, Arnab went on to hold Sonia Gandhi personally responsible for the attack while asserting that neither he or his network will be cowed down by the attack.
“I just want to tell you Sonia Gandhi, you are the biggest coward in the country right now. You (Sonia Gandhi) tried to carry out an attack against me when I was driving back from work. You have no guts,” said Arnab Goswami while holding Congress interim-chief Sonia Gandhi for attacks against him and his wife.
“I will hold you personally responsible for any consequences and any attack on me. If anything ever happens to me, it is Sonia Gandhi and Vadra family, who cannot take my questions, are responsible,” added Arnab Goswami.
Arnab Goswami asserted that he has the support of the people of the country and challenged Sonia Gandhi asking her to “Bring it on”.
Attacked for questioning Sonia Gandhi’s silence over Palghar mob-lynching
Congress leaders and journalists who identify themselves as neutral on Wednesday had attacked Arnab Goswami after the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief questioned UPA chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi over her silence on Palghar mob-lynching in which two Hindu Sadhus and a driver were killed by an unruly mob.
Launching an attack against Sonia Gandhi, Arnab Goswami had questioned if she would have maintained the silence she is exhibiting today had Christian padres been killed instead of Hindu sadhus in the horrifying lynching incident in Palghar. However, soon after, Congress leaders and many journalists started abusing Arnab and by extension Prime Minister Modi implying he was responsible for Arnab questioning Sonia Gandhi’s silence.