New Delhi: A video of India Today anchor and news director Rahul Kanwal has been circulating on Twitter in which he is shown to be saying that raising slogan of Vande Mataram is “anti-national”.
Since their Friday investigation alleged that an “ABVP member” Akshat Awasthi was part of the mob during the JNU violence on 5 January, the news channel and the show anchor have been at the receiving end of trolling and hate on Twitter, with even a hashtag #RahulKanwalExposed trending on the microblogging site.
Mumbai BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua, author and BJP supporter Shefali Vaidya and a page called ‘Friends of RSS’ have shared the video on Twitter and criticised Kanwal for calling the Sanskrit poem written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee anti-national. Some even called for Kanwal’s removal from the channel.
— Friends of RSS (@friendsofrss) January 13, 2020
Now let's see how Rahul spins this one.
— Suresh Nakhua 🇮🇳 ( सुरेश नाखुआ ) (@SureshNakhua) January 12, 2020
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) February 18, 2016
Together, the above three posts had been retweeted nearly 10,000 times at the time of filing this report.
The video has been shared widely on Facebook too.
The video of Rahul Kanwal saying chanting Vande Mataram is “anti-national” is a trimmed version. It was shot in 2016 when he hosted a debate on his show after some lawyers beat up student leader Kanhaiya Kumar outside Patiala House court in Delhi. Kanwal tweeted out the entire video Monday evening with a message.
He posted, “Taking one line from a debate and editing it to make it seem as if the anchor believes chanting Vande Mataram is anti-national is a malicious act. During the debate even the guest agreed that violence unleashed by lawyers in court was wrong.”
Taking one line from a debate and editing it to make it seem as if the anchor believes chanting Vande Mataram is anti-national is a malicious act. During the debate even the guest agreed that violence unleashed by lawyers in court was wrong. For those interested, here’s the clip: pic.twitter.com/QhDmjXf9Oe
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) January 13, 2020
In the video shared by the senior journalist, he can be seen telling the lawyers appearing on his debate that shouting slogans in court destroys the sanctity of the institution.
Kanwal also said shouting slogans in court can be perceived as “anti-national and anti-legal”.
Mentioning Vande Mataram, he said shouting the slogan in court goes against law and in that context it was an anti-national act. The lawyers on the debate agreed to him and said they should not have shouted Vande Mataram in the court.
India Today has also released a statement in which it said trolls have launched a “mala fide campaign” against the channel ever since it aired the JNU tapes.
The channel said a “vicious attack is underway to undermine the investigation we carried out and to slander the reputation of India Today TV’s News Director Rahul Kanwal”.
On the video being circulated, India Today said a clip used in the channel’s debate was used “after conveniently editing the context”.
In collaboration with SM HoaxSlayer.