Dear Mr. Arnab Goswami,
A few days back, while I was travelling to my office, a tweet from your yet-to-be launched news channel Republic took me by surprise. It was a tweet addressed to the Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi.
And, I have to admit that I lost my train of thought for a moment and got baffled thinking, who is the Prime Minister of the country – is it Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi?
I know, I am being an almost absolute imbecile here, but wait! The reason why your tweet threw me into confusion was that you are a journalist, or at least you claim to be one.
Assuming that you are a journalist, then journalism to me is the fourth pillar of democracy. It is the duty of a journalist to act as a watchdog of the government. It is the duty of a journalist to keep a tab on the ruling government’s work and question it for matters of national importance and on issues affecting public at large.
Regrettably, looking at the tweets that your upcoming channel has been sharing of late, it would be right to state that you, Mr. Arnab, have become the lapdog of the government and the watchdog of the opposition. It is quite sad that a journalist of such a high stature like you, is in a serious need to revisit the core meaning of journalism.
Mr. Arnab, you need to broaden your mindset and promote healthy journalism in the country, but you are preoccupied with trolling the opposition. Whatever failures the UPA government had, the public voted out the Congress government three years back.
Today, it is the BJP government which is running the nation, and you are still hounding Rahul Gandhi with your tweets.
Why, Mr. Goswami, why? The nation wants to know!
Why are you so obsessed with him?
Or, is it that you have joined the bandwagon of trolls, and have become a right-wing troll who badgers the opposition on any and everything?
I have to confess that tweets like these from your end, whether addressed to Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal, knock me down with a feather! It is ridiculous though, that you haven’t even spared Arvind Kejriwal!
I mean, come on, the man is the Chief Minister of Delhi, which is not even a full state.
I hope you remember that!
And, while you recall that, I would like to help you realise that it is not Delhi or Arvind Kejriwal, who deserve your attention. The country is facing enough unrest for a journalist like you to intervene and question the current government about.
Say no more, you are just sailing under false colors!
Mr. Arnab, I want to know if you have ever heard about the beautiful state of Kashmir, which is in ruins at present. Do you know about this state? I thought you would because a large chunk of your TV debates in your ‘past life’ was often devoted to issues related to the Valley.
But let’s once again assume that you are indeed not aware of this state. Then, it makes sense why.
May be, you’ve been too worried about strengthening relationships with the RSS and BJP that you have forgotten to keep abreast with the hard news that is actually of significance to the country.
To help you know about the state a bit – it is burning. Just six-and-a-bit percent voters recently turned to vote in Srinagar Lok Sabha bypolls (Srinagar, by the way, is the state capital). The situation in the state is much worse than what it was in the 1990s.
Every single day, so many people lose their lives, and we are on the verge of losing it.
So, shouldn’t you be asking questions to Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, and Mehbooba Mufti?
On 1 May, a Pakistani Special Forces team sneaked about 250 metres across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector and beheaded two Indian security personnel.
I am sure you are aware of this. But, I didn’t see any of your tweets addressed to the PM about the country’s failing security.
When are you going to ask the Prime Minister? Being a journalist, why aren’t you bothered about the security of the nation now? What happened to your sense of patriotism that you wore up your sleeves during your association with Times Now. And if my memory serves well, not so long ago, you were seen enlightening your audience on why journalists in India needed to be nationalists.
Our security forces are losing their lives and you seem to be in a very stable state of mind, unlike the other citizens of the country.
What’s with the ignorance, sir?
The nation wants to know!
Why are you so keen to confront Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, while clearly shrugging off the need to put the present government in the dock? Is it because they are the only two opposition faces who are likely to counter Mr. Modi in the 2019 election?
Are you driving some sort of political campaign for Mr. Modi’s victory in the next election?
Why are you always willing to square up with the opposition and try to drive them round the bend? Is it because you want to earn a few lulz and help the PM get new supporters by sniffing at the opposition with one-sided diatribe?
Why, Mr. Goswami, please inform the nation?
The nation wants to know!
When will you sense that credibility gap?
You left Times Now in November, 2016. But, I am sure that you still know that in the past five months, a lot has happened in the country.
Mr. Modi sold demonetisation to the country with the claim that it will fight black money. But did it? How much black money actually got recovered, when billions of people were stranded with little to no cash after 8 November, 2016? Why have the government and the RBI been so reluctant in making data public to substantiate their claims?
Did you try to find that out?
And, are you going to?
Shouldn’t you be questioning Mr. Modi about these attacks?
What’s even worse is that with Mr. Manohar Parrikar’s return to Goa, India doesn’t even have a full time Defence Minister.
Did you ever think of finding an answer as to when will our nation’s security be taken seriously?
Arun Jaitley, the Union Finance Minister who has been unable to manage the economy of the country well, has been given the additional charge of the defence ministry, and you said nothing.
I am sure if the UPA government would have done such a blunder of failing to give the nation’s security the attention that it deserves, and had it handed over the additional charge of the defence ministry to another Union minister, you would have created chaos, at least inside the studio by now.
So, why now?
Why this bigotry, Mr. Goswami? The nation wants to know!
In the garb of cow vigilantism, the entire country is in a state of unrest today. So, who will you ask questions regarding this? Are you going to discuss this with Rahul Gandhi or with Arvind Kejriwal on your next meeting with them?
In fact, who is your go-to man out of these two, when it comes to talking about the nation’s security?
Tell us, please. The nation wants to know!
The economy is going down. People are losing their jobs. There is little or no hope left in making India as grand as Mr. Modi once made us believe it will be. But, you aren’t asking questions to him, or to Mr. Arun Jaitley, for that matter.
Did you ever try to contact the BJP government to find out how it won the elections in Goa and Manipur, while it stood second to the Congress in these states? Was it through money power, or through muscle power? Why don’t you try to find that out, Mr. Arnab?
Why this nonchalance in sending a few tweets to Mr. Manohar Parrikar and Nongthombam Biren Singh? You do it the best. So, why don’t you direct them to the BJP party’s members?
The nation still wants to know!
Not your ‘your kind’ of journalism
Mr. Arnab, aren’t you aware that there is a complete breakdown of institutions under the rule of the mighty BJP. From election commissions, to educational institutions, it’s a complete chaos everywhere. And, that’s not all! Allegations of EVM tampering are on an all-time high.
The nation wants to know the truth, why don’t you help it?
There is an air of suspicion, which you should definitely clear, as a responsible journalist of the nation, that you claim yourself to be.
But, the question is – would you?
The moment right-wing radicals hear anti-Modi voices, they label them as anti-nationals. These radicals are openly demanding Hindu Rashtra. We are heading towards a nation which will slowly be termed as ‘Hindu Pakistan’. But you seem to be fine with that.
Why, Mr. Goswami?
You said that you wanted to save Indian journalism from the influence of Lutyens’ Delhi. Apparently, you are a little miffed with journalists who belong to Lutyens’ Delhi and their journalism. But, then, what brand are you trying to create by forcing people into submission?
If journalism to you means jingoism, then at least ask the nation whether it wants this warmongering mindset or not? And, you should definitely do that! The nation wants to tell you that!
The nation also wants to tell you that till the time Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal become the Prime Minister of the country, you really need to direct all your questions to Narendra Modi.
It’s time for you to listen. And, you must listen.
Waiting for an unbiased Arnab. Hope to “see you soon”!
From Sadhavi Khosla,
A Citizen of India
The article orginally appeared in Janta Ka Reporter