File photo of Arnab Goswami | Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images
File photo of Arnab Goswami | Bhaskar Paul/India Today Group/Getty Images
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At 9 pm, I will switch on Republic TV in the hope that Arnab Goswami follows the broadcasting authority’s orders and issues a public apology.

The morning of the 4th September brought news of some relief to me and my husband. We received an email from the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) that Arnab Goswami and Republic TV have been ordered to accept their fault.

I would much rather call it a blunder and a display of the most reckless kind of journalism. Tonight, at 9 pm, I will switch on Republic TV with the hope that they follow the authority’s order and issue us a public apology.

I write this to talk about what we have, as a couple, gone through since that fateful day of Jignesh Mevani’s rally in January. I had dropped my husband to the packed rally on Sansad Marg. My husband spent a few hours there. It was heartwarming to see how the young Dalit men and women showed their support to Mevani. There were representatives from the Bhim Sena and many unorganised participants there.

That evening at home, we discussed the possibilities of a new kind of politics in the country and how Mevani represented this change. As we flipped through news channels, we chanced upon Arnab Goswami screaming, as usual, at some unsuspecting person or event. It took us a few moments to realise that he was actually talking about the same rally where my husband had gone during the day. He called the Mevani rally a “flop show”, and used words like “anti-nationals” for a few faces which were encircled in red on the screen. There was no video, only still images of a few faces.

And there, my husband’s face was one of them. I felt a bolt in the pit of my stomach and we watched the screen silently. Arnab’s show had edited out the whole video to take just the faces of random bystanders. The only piece of video, which caught our attention, among other abruptly cut ones, was the one featuring my husband. In the loud noises of “Go away Republic TV!”, he was loudly telling a woman journalist, “Aap jhooth bol rahi hain!” I was quick to notice how, even when slightly excited, my husband was using very respectful language.


Also read: From breaking news to broken news: How did we get here?


He told the Times Now journalist who falsely accused the Bhim Sena protestors that she was making objectionable comments. My husband said that her accusations were baseless. After all, as an honest law abiding citizen of the country, are we supposed to stand by as mute spectators to wrong allegations? Should we close our eyes against discrimination and social injustice?

Our great fortune lies in the recordings, which Republic TV’s cameraman was making and which have been produced in the NBSA hearings. My husband’s words are very clear. The journalist was a smart woman who was doing her job on the field and we don’t hold her responsible for any of this. She, even during the trial, maintained that my husband had not said anything lewd to her. She said that he had spoken out when she was trying to catch hold of alleged men in the rally. She said this in front of the judge’s panel in India International Center where the hearing was held.

But, we are sensible people and when we saw Arnab calling my husband all those horrible words, we knew that something was wrong. Since Republic TV showed six to seven faces encircled by red dotted lines, we thought that they have randomly picked up people who stood there without verifying their claims. We knew that it was not the fault of the female journalist in the video.

We wrote a series of emails to Republic TV (having found their contact email from their website) over the next week. Our email was a simple: my husband identified himself as one of the people whose face had been wrongly marked and we had asked for a public apology for the same. But, we did not receive any reply. We were forced to file a police complaint and the case in the NBSA.

During the hearing, Republic TV was represented by a lawyer, the journalist in question and Abhishek Kapoor, the executive editor of the channel. In a series of bad arguments, their lawyer went to the extent of commenting on my husband’s clothes which he thought were jhola-cchap kind. It was shocking and offensive that their lawyer was trying to implicate us based on the clothes he thought my husband was wearing.

Then, Abhishek Kapoor said something very strange. He said that as a channel, they had a right to have a political opinion and that their channel’s political opinion was that Mevani-like politics was anti-national.


Also read: Karan Thapar broke the cardinal rule of journalism and is too entitled to admit it


I was speechless.

A news channel, I had believed, was to show the neutral point of view in any event. Here was a channel, openly claiming that a sitting MLA was anti-national. That is when I spoke. I accepted the channel’s claim and I said if that is the case, then Republic TV should first encircle Jignesh Mevani’s face in red. But they would never do it because Mevani has a public following and he’s an MLA, while my husband and others whose faces were shown on the show are common citizens who might not be able to defend themselves with public support. To this, Abhishek Kapoor and other representatives of Republic TV had no reply.

After many arguments from both the sides, their lawyer said, “But my Lord, if you ask us to apologise to them, then it will set a trend and we will have to apologise to everyone!”

This was when I realised that we were facing the most illogical opponents. If you make a mistake a hundred times, you must apologise a hundred times. Is there any way around it? Should you be exempted from asking for forgiveness simply because you are a regular defaulter? My husband never asked for any compensation for the mental trauma that we had to go through. We are simple people looking for a simple apology.

Well, tonight at 9 pm, we will wait for the apology. The NBSA has prescribed the text of the apology which must be followed. I am sure that truth shall prevail.

Update: Arnab Goswami and Republic TV did not apologise to the author and her husband as directed by NBSA. The author says, as per the order, they have another chance to do so immediately before the 9PM news on the 14/9/2018.

The author is a former lecturer in Italian literature from Delhi University and writes political non-fiction in Hindi, Bhojpuri, English and Italian. Her Twitter handle is @PratishthaSin15

For ThePrint's smart analysis of how the rest of the media is doing its job, no holds barred, go to PluggedIn


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69 COMMENTS

  1. Courageous Goswamy, what a joke sirji? He is using the platform where nobody who are insulted can defend themselves.He is unfit to be a transgender forget a man.

  2. Well, when the BJP loses 2019, Arnab Goswami, the Göbbels of the BJP will shift sides. As most BJP MPs defect to the winning party, if only to save themselves from being prosecuted for their crimes whilst in power, hot air manufacturer Arnab would be forced to do the same !

  3. Stopped watching his show ages ago, so I won’t get to see the apology, if there is one. His news channel, if you can call it that, is everything a channel should not be.

  4. I hope Barking Arnab apologises I congratulate the author and her fight against arrogance and misuse of media ! Nothing wrong in having political views but not when you are an anchor participate as a spoke person not as an anchor If Arnab has guts register his channel as a party channel !

  5. Huh, saw that event and even saw what the guy did to that reporter. In my view, it looked like he just harassed her. Had she been some left leaning reporter, you would have seen the outrage. Just because she was from republic, the case was washed out. I don’t know whether Arnab apologized or not, but that was no way to treat a female reporter.

  6. I fully appreciate the protest by the Lady towards her husband for being implicated just because he stood near Mevani.
    Now for reasons unknown the liberalists, Secularists etc have an intense hatred for Modi and his party.I want to understand the following.
    1)with just 145 MPs in 2004 and 206 MPs in 2009 Congress ran UPA1 and 2 for five Years, ten in all.
    2) There were Scams of course still in trial amounting to thousands of Crore,yet no protest.
    2)There were riots, atrocities on women price rise, border violations, inflation yet no protests.
    How come there are so many protests with a duly elected full majority Government with no scams, no major riots, good foreign relations,stock market booming,poor being offered all kinds of incentives like less expensive medicines,housing,education etc.Massive infrastructure programmes connecting towns and villages river transport etc.Pls think.

  7. A great and brave moVe
    Is this what a Pillar of democracy means? We need to strictly boycott such channels and Anchors and show them what they truly deserve

  8. In opinion those who think jignesh mevani represents change are assoles. One who garner the votes by fooling the dalits and colluding with anti-nationals is definitely anti-national and those who supports him are anti-national and threat to security and harmony.

  9. I used to like him but money and celebrity status has brainwashed him.Arnab and other media has been responsible for dividing the country , he is kind of communal and there is timesnow also- call everyone who has slight disagreement anti national, call them lutyens gang, they are heavily paid to show excitement, to abuse. Govt shud stop these channels and because of abusing someone as anti national he should be in jail, couple of journalists left him bcos of not being able to live with corrupt journalism gang, he thinks he and his cronies(he has some ppl he invite again must br paid) to support him, ppl shud stop attending his debates and things will fall in place. However i also shud say that you may have big disagreemrnts with PM but no one has right to abuse him and call names, he is our PM, nations PM, why does jignesh make it a personal fight, speak on poimts not on person, if he wants to do good go do it but dont speak ill of anyone. What have Dalit leaders done in the past for dalits and why do we need the word dalit, except babasaheb no one made an impact.

  10. He had created an style of expressioins his shows that he is the only man fighting against all evil forces in the country. He often allows other to speak most of the show he loudly barks rather than questioning ,he always maintains his views are correcte than the gentlemen sit before him,but people are watching which party he is carrying forward.

  11. Its all about freedom.of speech. If the Leftist elements and their supporters claim to have freedom of Bharat ka tuksde tukade karo and don’t apologize then things aren’t okay.

  12. I do not know the issue of this lady. But most of the so called communists and “progressives” are by any definition anti Nationals. They’re most undemocratic and dictatorial when they are in power and talk of freedom of speech when they are out of it.

  13. Theres no doubt now that Arnab and his channel are a bunch of clowns. Even when he was in times now his methods of debating was shameful. Inviting people especially Pakistanis and blasting them…what does he think..he will ridicule them and they will keep quiet? No one in the world would. In fact he is responsible for inciting hate amongst the two nations. This is not the way to achieve peace. Viewers are responsible for putting Arnab on a pedestal.

  14. I totally agree with NBSA judgement and these guys specially the news channel people whom so ever, thinks beyond the nation and keep asking and projecting their own agendas and misguiding people should be had nice and proper they should know their worth. Iam happy for the complainant for getting some respite for the insult suffered.

  15. If Republic is opinionated and biased than what about the types of NDTV, WIRE and The Print. They are not only opinionated, biased , pseudo secular but also the bootlickers of Sonia Gandhi and Congress party. They shamelessly promote the most communal and corrupt Congress and it’s anti national leaders.

  16. I have stopped watching Republic. Arab Goswamy has long back sold his conscience to one party which believes in one nation, one ideology. He is serving his political masters. The owner of the channel is BJP MP and together they are an ideal team for unprofessional journalism. The same Goswamy becomes beegi Billie in front of powerful people. Just avoid his channel.

  17. Bravissima! I don’t watch that channel but the episode was in the news and can imagine what a harrowing time you went through! Best wishes Pratishtha!

  18. Arnab always talks sense. The writer here making false perspective to gain sympathy. ‘Jhola chap” remark that Arnab speakes has larger perspective which the writer has reduced it to just a piece of cloth but it’s not. That shows writers ignorance. We must take intellectual terrorism seriously.

  19. Forcing an apology without meaning is baseless. He has a right to his own political opinion. Democratic freedom of press is being gagged by the venomous Italian for Arbab exposing and reviving BOFORS. GANDHI’S tried to close down this channel before. Vendetta games congress plays and blows things out of proportion. Congress is anti-national, self centered and publicity hungry. What a way to stay in the news. Arnab should not apologize in the interest of freedom of press which congress always tried to curb if it was not favourable to them. He should get more skeletons out of their cupboards and further expose them. What good did they do besides grabbing firms, lands, money, nation’s wealth? What is Vadra doing? Arnab shouldn’t apologize.

  20. Arnab is Arnab !
    He is Right person in Right profession !
    He is courageous!Bold journalist!
    We believe!
    We like him!
    Whatever and whichever his style may be !

  21. Madam, due respect to you. Arnab is such a useless man. Even if he apologize, doesn’t make difference. We should avoid such bad persons who are bringing bad name to journalism. Being a journalist I am ashamed of him. Sorry to say that I will not see Arnab apologizing because I have stopped seeing Republic TV long ago.

  22. Of course Shri Arnab Goswami must apologise. His show only promotes shouting matches. There is no attempt for civil debate. I have stopped watching his show.

  23. I thing Arnob wants a confirm MP seats for his future need because he knows he is not capable for journalists. He is working right now like spoon for rooling party.Shame Arnob.

  24. You should ask compensation , after the receiving compensation you may donate for good cause if you wish but these persons who don’t care the reputation of others should not get away freely .

  25. Arnab Goswami was once an intelligent journalist with NDTV. But from the time heshifted to Times Now, he has been abrasive, condemning and dismissing people often wrongly. High time he apologized to the nation !

  26. It is obvious that there are many people now days in india who are getting a lot of money from foreign countries to make commotion in our country in the name of freedom of expression, reservation, sc/st act, also supporting naxals even stone pelters in kashmir,
    I would not take any channels name however they will never raise their voice against stone pelters, naxalism,,
    If they are want to make some changes in our society why dont they support reservation besed on financial conditions but they spport some new politicians who are making fool of innocent public.
    I have been watching for a long time that there are misinsters who had become CM or reached to some great position and their every single speech speaks about dalits and their wellness however it is only the speech in reality what they have done to improve dalits conditons.

  27. Arnab Goswami and his Republic TV can get away with anything and everything when they are backed by Moneybags BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Whither justice.

  28. It is very evident from his track record, Mr. Goswami has the habit of irritating and shouting out at his opponents. He has no basic courtesy to just even wait and listen to the person to whom he has asked a question. He believes in one and only strategy, i. e. shouting abuses at the person sitting in front of him. Above all he has the firm (mis) belief that whatever he shouts is the truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately he has a platform from where he is boasting himself to be a “responsible journalist” and yells at the top of his voice that he only has the “freedom of speech and freedom of expression”.

  29. Arnav already lost his sense when he thrown away from times,frustrated person will be growling anything baseless.He called keralite as shameless people,without analysing about him

  30. “Left had destroyed two states.” Why not the 3rd., Tripura ? Besides, Neither Bengal nor Tripura are being controlled by Left any longer. I guess this fanatic commentator agree that all non Left ruled states currently are being promoted to states in heaven.

  31. Apologize, Arnab should and that will only add stars of righteousness to his show. But republic must go on taking stand on issues that was editorials in news papers do and thats what TV news channels shld do instead of shying away from calling spade a spade under this apology and that defamation. Arnab was the one who spoke what public desperately wanted to convey to the last Govt.He spoke our minds our thoughts and our frustations.so please go ahead and apologize to 10 more in case of error if any but please continue exposing what is wrong and not done.

  32. How blots n anti national like mawani ,thakur,patel get to main stream media..they are nothing just a piece of shit.. trying to bleed nation for personal goals…n media like quint, the print,burkha dutts rajdeesps highlighting them for personal scores..

  33. Arnab won’t apologize as he is backed by the so called Nationalist forces. For them whoever has a different view than theirs is an Antinationalist.
    How can he betray his Masters……

  34. I don’t know the charges against this lady and her husband. But I know this, the leftists have destroyed two states (WB n Kerala) and having lived very close to one of them and having experienced first hand what the left does to its electorate, and the opposition…. I don’t need Arnab to tell me whether or not leftists (of all hue n cry) are anti nationals or otherwise. They are. period!! Now this lady may have gotten an apology because of a technicality (I am not sure) but to suddenly jump to the conclusion that therefore everything the Arnab is doing is bad etc. isn’t fair I suppose. This lady got what she wanted (or probably will) … Let’s leave it that. A wrong was committed against her and the channel has been asked to apologise (I wonder what prompted her to write this article- cheap publicity??) Let’s leave it at that.

  35. These days Anchors do anything to get the focus on themselves, their voices and their opinions. They don’t care what happens to people or society or India because of their shrill, over the top, biased reporting. Logically speaking they are most “Anti-national” as they are leading India to a break-up point by inciting hatred and indirect violence.
    I do hope he apologises, will be watching him, in solidarity with you.

    • Mevani is a communist disguised in and as a dalit leader…once he said Baba Saabs written or what ever he said is not written on stone….he insulted babasaheb .bcoz he was and he is a communist a naxal……that show was a flop and the behaviour I to show was hooligan behaviour toward tv crew Nd journalist….so don’t blame arnab MADAM…..

  36. Arnab has this tenacity of calling everything he dislikes as “Antinational”. And his representative actually said right thing when they said they have a political opinion..yes, republic TV has a political opinion and every discussion on republic TV screams to deliver deep inside your brain that opinion. Though Arnab can have close to 80-85% share holding in republic TV , but it’s a fact that republic runs on the basis of views and opinions strongly influenced by BJP in General and Hawkish brand of Nationalism in particular which doesn’t spreads peace but definitely leads to more and more zingoisim growth in society. While a small dose of sensibile nationalism is good for both the society and the country but a Particular breed of opinion which wears the Jacket of Nationalism is dangerous for the society in long term. Arnab and republic is guilty of it.

  37. The “ Nation “ has moved on beyond Shri Arnab Goswami. It no longer expects him to ask straight questions on its behalf. It is for practising journalists to judge whether he still qualifies for membership of the tribe.

    • Good point!, but I doubt, if the new upcoming or journalistic fraternity as a whole will desist from Arnab Goswamy type of journalism out of morality or ethics!. There are huge temptations of money & power out there. Gone are the days of idealistic virtues, very few will follow !

    • Shri Arnab G. sadly destroyed the power of journalism. It is no more watchdog but have become lapdog. The university from which he acquired degree on journalism certainly thought Arnab the principles and ethics of journalism but for the sake of money and power Arnab murdered integrity and respect of journalism. More so, the future of right information dessiminition is in jeopardy. Media community must stand up to seek both public and government consent to remove Arnabji from public sphere.

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