An open letter to Arnab Goswami – JNU students are not terrorists

saba khan

Saba is a physical therapist preparing for civil services.

Dear Arnab Goswami,

Not many people know that you started your career as a journalist with “The Telegraph” in Calcutta. You are and oxford alumnus apart from being a Hindu college product. Your paternal grandfather was a congressman, maternal grandfather was a communist and your father Manoranjan Goswami belongs to BJP and he contested election as BJP candidate but lost to congress candidate Bhubaneswar Kalita.

With your introduction being given, I would like to tell you that I have always been a great admirer of your show and your “the nation is angry and wants an answer” approach. The way you brought Times Now to the zenith of its glory all on your own is commendable.

But, over the years, you have let your success overpower your real motive and in all this you forgot that there is thin line of difference between moderator of debate and the battler. It’s an agony to see your show and witnessing the main topic of your debating being crushed by your crusading zeal and jingoistic nationalism.

Again I will say that I used to admire you the most but this time you went too far. It was few days back during the night when I saw the news and I was so disturb seeing few lawyers or I better say the few protectors of law taking law into their own hands by beating the hell out of Kanhaiya Kumar while the Delhi police played mute spectator. I felt my heart beat going high and then came the final nail in the coffin when I saw your video where you shouted out real loud and thrashed with your harsh words the three JNU student or I say the panelist whom you only invited.

Now there are few points that I would like to bring under your kind notice Arnab -:

Most important is that you and your program is admired and loved only because you represent the voice of the nation or the people of India. ”We” means people of India want you to represent us only when the panelists include people from political parties or central government or state government or judicial person. You have no right whatsoever to impose your extreme views and rigid ideologies on others. You called these panelists to express their views. The very little they can expect from you is some respect for being on the show. But your behavior and style resist the very notion of having individual thoughts and beliefs.

Now let us take few points from the speech you gave to Umar, Lenin and Ishan on your show one by one. First you point out these three as more dangerous than Maoist to this country. Tell me Arnab who are you to label them with such disgracing description. Who gave you the right to call them more dangerous than Maoist?

Second one you said that they misused freedom of expression in name of culturalism. First of all let me tell you Arnab that freedom to peacefully protest is our fundamental right which is a result of brainstorming sessions by founders of constitution. Article 19 clause (2) put restriction on freedom of speech only if a person is criticizing the nation. At the same time “If a person is criticizing the policies of government of India or state government peacefully then our constitution acts as a safeguard for that citizen. According to some rally was organized peacefully and it was some fringe elements from outside who entered without permission and shouted anti national slogans. According to some the JNU students made anti national slogans in the really. In the Kedar Nath singh’s case, five judges of supreme court- a constitutional bench made it clear that allegedly seditious speech and expression may be punished only if speech is an incitement to violence or public disorder.

With that being explained tell me Arnab who gave you the right to label them anti national. tell me Arnab did you witness the so called anti national rally . do you have evidence to prove that Ishan, Lenin and Umar made anti national slogan. You think you are bigger than the law. How dare you to take law in your hands. Do I need to remind you Arnab about the basic rule of law that “every person must be presumed guilty until proven”. Yours “I, ME AND MYSELF” approach and your way of cowing and over powering panelists with your aggressive and extremely loud interruptions are nothing but a blot on freedom of expression.

I would want you to recall the case of Shreya Singhal vs. union of India, the famous 66A judgment in which Supreme Court draw a clear distinction between advocacy and incitement, stating that only the latter would be punished in an act of sedition. Arnab it’s your this particular episode in which you did a blunder of calling the three students as anti national because after that episode the intolerant, hooligan and communal people started sharing video of particular portion with the tag- “Arnab spat on TERRORIST UMAR KHALID” . Tell me Arnab if JNU students advocate the anti national environment then I think you incited the violent and communal environment which as per the honorable Supreme Court’s decision in Shreya Singhal case amount to an act of sedition not the JNU students.

Thirdly coming to the other part of your speech where you called the JNU students beneficiaries of subsidized Indian government education and their education being paid from the tax payer’s money. Arnab if they are beneficiaries of subsidized Indian government education, “MAYBE” your channel is beneficiary of some political party or corporate house. The JNU students are beneficiaries of taxpayer’s money and that is the reason why they feel more responsible towards the people of India. I am not a JNU student nor do I have any friend in JNU University but all I know is that the JNU students are much more national than you or me. From the national issue to social issue or any other issue they have always stand for what is right and they are the first one to come out in support of country without any selfish interest. Where your channel gets TRP’S for sensationalizing the news these people , these people work selflessly and are much more the voice of India than you.

Fourth point you mentioned, let me quote “I have run out of patience with you with the shallowness of the nature of your arguments”. Arnab Goswami I seriously want to know have you ever seen the footage of your show. Think about the panelists who tolerate your nonstop super loud arguments. Getting to hear about patience from you reminded me that “look who is talking”.

Fifth point you mentioned, let me quote you” WE are proud of Lans Naik Hanumanthappa and ashamed of you”. Tell me Arnab who gave you the right to use “WE”- you are not the sole representative of the people of India. The nation includes each and every student of JNU also. The JNU students including Lenin Ishan and Umar must have felt the pain of Lans Naik Hanumanthappa much more than you as they are more close to the people of India.

Media is called the fourth pillar of democracy because it keeps a check on three other pillars from misusing its power but your way of giving judgments without trial only proves how you are over using your own power and need to be checked.

You are an oxford alumnus, were you not taught Arnab about the ethical ways of conducting debates. The debate style in oxford calls for moderator is to queue the refutation, to preside over the debate and raises the predetermined questions at an “appropriate time”. A debate is a communication process not a kangaroo court.

If you feel you have no control over shouting out loud so much then you should simply take the seat of the panelist and quit your job as a moderator but remember, even as a panelist do remember few lines by Sabio Lantz;

“In debate, do not nitpick the little stuff in your opponent’s argument. Instead, help make your opponent’s argument as strong as you can. Correct his weak spots for him. Then offer counters to what you consider the strongest version of your opponent’s arguments; try to anticipate your own criticisms. Make your opponent the best partner you can. For the goal is not to win the debate, but for you both to better approximate the truth.”

From a true patriot and a neutral and secular citizen of India
Jai hind Jai Bharat