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Hounding of Arnab Goswami is unsurprising: This is what happened to me at a media event when I was just a law student

The problem lies not with loyalty but their steadfast sycophancy of the dynasty and the Queen. Apparently, they still adhere to the norm of “The Queen Is Above All”

The recent incident of the attack on TV Journalist and editor in Chief of Republic TV Mr Arnab Goswami brought a flashback of events that happened around six years ago. Although, Mr Goswami received support from various parts of the society, yet the staggering silence of the left-liberal personalities or their hasty criticism and justification of the incident comes as no surprise. This lot has been loyal to a certain ideology or rather certain political dynasty for a very long time. Their loyalty knows no bounds and at times, it has taken an ugly shape of a hood of a cobra spewing venom at anything that is said to the contrary. This bunch of intellectuals has constantly targeted Indian ethos. There are shining examples of Macaulay’s Education System. So, for them to target Mr Goswami and continuously spew hate against his brand of journalism doesn’t come as a surprise. In fact, it reminds me of an event that I participated in years ago, when I was the target of the leftist journalists.

Six years back, I was invited to an event organized by a forum where an interactive session was held with a journalist of a leading Marathi News Channel. People from all walks of life were invited and as a person representing the field of law, I was given an opportunity not only to attend the event but also a chance to ask a question to our guest. Back then, I was a naïve young law student, championing the freedom of speech and expression and thought this opportunity to be a golden chance to ask the guest of honour the question that had been troubling me for a very long time. That’s why me and one of my friend, decided to attend this event. 

I was surprised to see that even though the program was for all to attend, maximum attendees were journalists and reporters of various news agencies based in my city. Majority of the attendees were from those Newspapers that are known for sympathizing with the anti-establishment elements. Needless to say, only a handful of us were from the field of literature, law, psychology and politics. As was the protocol, our guest was given the stage to speak about his experience as a journalist for 20 minutes and then the floor was opened for questions to be asked. Maximum of them were from reporters and not more than three were from other fields. 

When I was given the chance, I asked two questions. 

1. Does the media have a problem with Right Wing Ideology? Why is it that a Hindu ideologue or a BJP politician or even RSS leader is hounded for any statement of theirs whereas no matter how silly statements are issued by politicians of other political parties like Congress etc, there is a pin drop silence?

2. We recently saw what happened with Rajdeep Sardesai at Madison Square garden. I believe it was a genuine reaction coming from common man after the merciless criticism of their leader Mr. Narendra Modi. Especially on social media platforms. Don’t you think that people have started questioning the credibility of media and because of the biased reporting done by a section of media, people have started reacting. What is your take on that?

Never in my life had I been particularly drawn to politics but the 2014 campaign and the overwhelming support of BJP and PM Modi in particular piqued my interest and I observed the difference between the media reporting done as regards Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. I did some research as to why this lot seemed to target Mr. Modi and realized that they don’t have a problem with Modi. They have problem with the ideology he represents. I scanned through interviews after interviews and it dawned on me that their hatred towards Mr. Modi is deep entrenched to their hatred for Hindus. That’s what triggered me to ask as to what the reason was behind the hate. It was a very innocent curiosity on my part. I was blinded by my quest to find answers and the idea of free speech so much that I had no idea what was to be unleashed on me in matter of next ten minutes or so. 

The thing that shouldn’t surprise us that our guest of honour could not answer any of my questions. Instead, he explained how there’s nothing such as right-wing and how social media is a bane for today’s journalism. It was as if I opened a platform for him to speak on the bane of social media. As mine was the last question, the closing ceremony concluded and it was finally snack time. My friend and I were standing in the corner, not engaging with anyone, happily munching over the delicious Samosa and chips when we were approached by a bunch of our journalist friends. 

I was left speechless when they bombarded me with sermons as to how it was disrespectful my line of questioning was. How I should have considered the seniority o the journalist and how wrong I was to question the integrity of media! So I countered them that my questions were mere observations after having done an extensive study on the pattern of reporting done by media. And as a citizen of this country, I have right to question the media establishment. I also asked then to pay more attention to their respective twitter handles so they could understand that I was not the only one asking questions. I was thankful to the support of my friend who had my back because I was sure,  otherwise, I would have drowned in the sea of insults thrown at me. 

I was told that I’m a mere student who cannot understand the complexities of governance that establishments and how they act against the law. This premise gives the media to question the government. The media was to uphold the right of ignorant citizens like me. Some of them gave me their visiting card and asked me to contact them so they could explain to me how transparent and independent the media is and to clear the confusion in my mind about right-wing. I was stunned, to say the least. It was then, I realized, that our media, who are supposed to be the fourth pillar of democracy, is not as free as it wants people to believe. 

Today, when I reflect back to the incident, I realize that the verbal attack on me wasn’t because I asked them questions. It was because I had managed to pinch their jugular. The media is tolerant as long as you don’ question them. The moment you question their bias and their ideology you become their target of hatred. It was the first instance of intolerance I encountered and it was prior to the whole Award Wapsi drama. These people are vicious and go as far as insulting a woman in public for her fault of merely questioning them. They don’t spare the likes of Union Minister Smriti Irani, I’m just a common citizen, a mere first step on the ladder. Their hatred for everything that stands for Indic values and Hindutva runs far too deep. They don’t want India to rise to her full capacity. They are the stooges that want India enslaved to the western ideals. 

Therefore, when a journalist, who is one of their own fraternity, comes up with a new brand of nationalist journalism is not spared. He’s maligned, questioned about his ethics and is called a Hashtag Journalist. All because he has managed to defy their brand of journalism that mocks the nation and national sentiments. That is why when Mr Goswami exposed Mrs Gandhi’s hypocrisy, he was attacked. The likes of and Nikhil Wagle immediately jumped to question if Mr.Goswami can even be considered a journalist. 

The problem lies not with loyalty but their steadfast sycophancy of the dynasty and the Queen. Apparently they still adhere to the norm of “The Queen Is Above All”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Rucha Dhakras
Rucha Dhakras
Practising Lawyer based in Nagpur. Occasional Blogger With An Interest in Socio Legal and Political Scenario.

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