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Congress spokespersons routinely indulge in abusive behaviour on live TV debates but when an anchor slips up all hell breaks loose

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate had once called BJP MP Sambit Patra “Naali ka Keeda” in a live TV debate on Aaj Tak. However, this was not the first incident that Shrinate had resorted to such obnoxious behaviour on live television.

Times Now journalist Navika Kumar found herself at the centre of a raging storm after Congress leaders and functionaries launched a coordinated attack on her over an on-air slip up while commenting on Rahul Gandhi over the Punjab imbroglio.

While discussing the Punjab political crisis that got deepened by the resignation of PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu yesterday, Kumar insinuated that the root cause of the problem could be the apathy of its leader Rahul Gandhi. “….want my vacation and I will go for vacation. And the day he returns, bl**dy…I’m sorry, sorry, on the day he returns Punjab is in the headlines…” she said while referring to Gandhi’s decision of going for a vacation even though Punjab was roiling with a political and leadership crisis.

Soon after her slip-up, for which she earnestly apologised instantly, Congress leaders and supporters went up in arms against the journalist. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel issued a not-so-veiled threat against media persons for using an ‘abusive’ term to describe senior Congress leader and former party president.

Inveterate fake news peddler and Congress leader Gaurav Pandhi took to Twitter to name-call Navika Kumar and threatened her and Times Now with dire consequences in a “Gandhian way” if they don’t publicly apologise. Pandhi did not elaborate on what the “Gandhian Way” means and one is left to wonder if it is the same that led to the massacre of the Sikh community in 1984.

Other Congress functionaries also jumped in the fray to express their criticism of the journalist and to demonstrate their deference to the Gandhi family. Hasiba Amin, National Convenor of Congress Social Media, called Navika a fake journalist and raised questions on her integrity. She asserted that Navika is a BJP-RSS puppet and upset at the BJP rapidly losing support.

The Congress ecosystem was instantly activated and many of their online supporters took to social media platforms to condemn Navika Kumar for her slip-up, for which she had already and profusely apologised, firstly on the show she was anchoring and then on her social media page.

But Congress supporters and leaders went on criticising her, perhaps to deflect the criticism and embarrassment Gandhis attracted after Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the post of Pradesh Congress Committee chief on Tuesday. The Gandhi siblings were reportedly responsible for managing the party affairs in Punjab and so a discussion on Sidhu’s resignation would have inevitably lead to questions on Gandhi’s political acumen and leadership qualities.

Therefore, the Congress supporters and loyalists took refuge in clucking over Navika Kumar’s slip up and paint Rahul Gandhi as a victim of abuse so that apprehensions and doubts on his leadership skills could be sidelined temporarily. However, while they dished out threats and pontificated on how news anchors should behave in TV debates, it is worth noting that Congress spokespersons have shown often resorted to abusive, ugly, and boorish behaviour during TV debates, presumably in their attempt to sidestep protruding questions.

The incorrigible bullies of the Congress party: Instances when Congress spokespersons have unabashedly resorted to abusive and boorish behaviour on Live TV

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate had once called BJP MP Sambit Patra “Naali ka Keeda” in a live TV debate on Aaj Tak. However, this was not the first incident that Shrinate had resorted to such obnoxious behaviour on live television.

If her previous debates are anything to go by, she is a repeat offender and had displayed little tolerance to hearing out opposing views. When spokespersons of other parties try to contradict her statements and call out Congress’ treachery, she heckles them with insulting remarks such as “non-sensical” and “shut up”.

Besides Shrinate, there are several other Congress spokespersons, who use unparliamentary language to counter their opponents in a TV debate. Ragini Nayak is one of them, who is particularly shrill in her attack against the opposition spokespersons.

In a TV debate on Aaj Tak, Nayak called BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia “sadakchaap”, “totle aadmi”, “thali ke baigan”, “badtameez aadmi” and other insults because he dared to counter the Congress spokesperson. It must be noted that Nayak had once served as the DUSU president.

Nayak is used to losing her cool while debating on television. In 2018, Nayak had called Gaurav Bhatia “Tera Baap Chor hai(Your father is a thief)” on his face during a news show on India TV.

Another Congress leader who is known for being uncivilised in her discourse on TV debates is Alka Lamba. Alka, who was earlier a member of AAP party, had insulted BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia by making unwarranted remarks on his parents. “badtameez inka baap hoga, badtameez inki maa hongi(His father must be ill-mannered, his mother must be ill-mannered),” said Alka on an India TV debate earlier this year.

When she finds no logical rebuttal to her opponents, Alka tries to mock her opponents by poking fun at their names, possibly in a bid to rile them up. During a debate on News 18, Lamba mocked BJP spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan by calling him: “Guru Prakash me nahin, Guru Andhkar me hain(Guru is not enlightened, he is in the dark).”

Some of the Congress spokespeople were so exasperated by the questions asked of them during debates that they did not hesitate from reviling the anchor of the show. Late Rajiv Tyagi of the Congress party had in 2018 called journalist Ameesh Devgan a “bhadwa” and a “dalaal” during a TV debate.

Hypocrisy of Congress in celebrating abusive spokespersons while threatening a journalist for her inadvertent goof-up

Instead of punishing their spokespersons for using patently inappropriate and abusive language against news anchors and opposition spokespersons, Congress leadership seems to encourage such behaviour, egging on their spokespersons to continue using such acerbic and derogatory remarks against their political opponents.

Congress supporters are often seen sharing their clips on social media and encouraging abusive Congress representatives for their disparaging and insulting comments.

When a Congress spokesperson indulges in abusive behaviour, it is completely acceptable, in fact, it is even worth emulating for others. But when a news anchor responds in the same language, all hell breaks loose? Either both of them are wrong or neither of them is. This selective application of morals for just news anchors while ill-mannered Congress spokespersons to continue with their disparaging conduct with impunity exposes the duplicity of the Congress party.

It is the same party where senior leaders refer to the sitting Prime Minister of the country as ‘chor’ ‘neech’ and with multiple such derogatory remarks. Congress leader Raj Babbar had once used derogatory remarks against PM Modi’s old mother.

Navika Kumar had already issued a prompt apology, both on her show and later personally on her social media page. To avoid discussions around the political debacle in Punjab, for which the Gandhi siblings are reportedly responsible, Congress leaders and functionaries appear determined to continue peddling propaganda so that Rahul Gandhi can be branded as a victim and questions about his political capabilities can be avoided.

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Jinit Jain
Jinit Jain
Writer. Learner. Cricket Enthusiast.

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