Arnab Goswami enjoys immense popularity as a journalist and impressive viewership rates. He is seen as a unique journalist especially among the English media outlets given his views on national issues. His views are often contrary to most of the other journalists who leave no stone unturned in bashing India and the current government. Goswami’s views on matters relating to economy are also right leaning due to which he enjoys a lot of popularity among the right wingers.
However, due to his nationalist point of view and popularity among the right wingers, his controversial opinions on social and cultural matters are often overlooked. Arnab Goswami may be a nationalist in his views but the fact remains that he is no friend of Hindus. His views on social, cultural and religious matters as far as the Hindus are concerned are no better than his pseudo secular counterparts. In fact, he is at times more vocal about such matters than his “secular” counterparts. This claim is not a work of imagination but there have been many instances where Goswami’s views on Hindu matters have not only been disappointing but have been strongly comparable to the views propagated by the elitist media outlets.
As far as issues of Hindu religious beliefs are concerned, Arnab Goswami has been as insensitive as any pseudo secular journalist. His current views about the Sabrimala temple issue are a testimony to this fact. In fact, Goswami has been strongly advocating entry for women of all ages to the shrine and has been severely criticizing those opposing their entry. While being totally judgmental about the entire issue, he has failed to consider the sensitivities of the locals and their beliefs which have led to such humongous protests. Not only this, he even went on to label the protesters, mostly led by women, as mobs. This shows his apathy towards the entire issue. He has taken the typical liberal stand so strongly in this case that he is not able to look at it from an objective point of view.
Similar was his stance, during the debate surrounding the Shani Shingnapur controversy concerning the entry of women to the shrine. At that time also, he openly declared that the right to worship was paramount and also ridiculed the Hindu sentiments. In this video, Goswami can be seen relentlessly arguing that women should be allowed entry in the shrine and slams those opposing it without even allowing them to elucidate their point. What is even more shocking is the fact that he opines that the state government should have intervened thereby suggesting that the Fadnavis government should have forced the temple authorities without giving them an opportunity of proper consultation.
Again during the unfortunate tragedy that unfolded in Kathua, Goswami joined the pseudo secular brigade in slamming Hindu organisations and giving a communal color to the entire incident. He followed others in holding a media trial and pronouncing a verdict without going into the depth of the entire case. In any case, it is not fit for the journalists to give a communal color to such issues or to hold media trials and give their prejudiced opinions. However, Arnab Goswami seemed to be doing exactly that.
His pseudo liberal side also came up in the extremely biased coverage of the Jasleen Kaur case. In that case also, he instantly placed the entire blame on the accused even before letting the courts decide the matter. Later it came to light that the complaint in this case was most probably a malicious one. And due to biased reporting by Times Now as well as other media outlets, the reputation of the accused person had been badly tarnished. This once again showed Arnab Goswami’s stance on social issues and how he is no less than his ‘secular’ counterparts when we talk of his standpoint on social issues.
-Arnab Goswami exceeded all limits in dealing with Jasleen Kaur case. This kangaroo court Justice amounts to Talibanization of media
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) August 25, 2015
Even more irresponsible was his coverage of the Rohtak sisters’ case. The two sisters in this case had accused three boys of eve-teasing them in a bus and a video had surfaced where these sisters were supposedly fighting out the eve teasers and the co-passengers appeared to be mere onlookers. Arnab Goswami again passed a verdict without verifying the facts of the case. He lauded both the girls as brave hearts and painted the accused in a bad light. Two years, later a local Rohtak court acquitted the three accused of the charges of sexual harassment and therefore, they stand clear of all charges. The entire media including Arnab Goswami had sensationalized the entire issue without going into its depth and now it seems that the media trial went horribly wrong. No apology from anyone including Arnab Goswami has been tendered till date.
Arnab Goswami’s observations following the beef ban that was implemented in the state of Maharashtra also reeked of typical liberal coverage of issues. Despite the fact that several High Courts have upheld cattle protection laws, Goswami expressed dismay over how Maharashtra enacted such a law. He wondered like his ‘secular’ counterparts in the media if it is correct to put restrictions on food habits only because a particular religion has sentiments connected with it. He then asked if similar bans will be imposed on consumption of pork, liquor, etc. because even that is connected to the religious sentiments of a particular community.
Another instance of Arnab Goswami’s trait of looking down upon Hindus was how he criticized Yogi Adityanath before the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections. He questioned how a person like Yogi Adityanath could be the face of BJP in the state. He alleged that Yogi Adityanath has several cases pending against him thereby suggesting that he does not have a very good image. And then went on to say that no one who uses religion as a tool should be promoted by any party. He was as vocal in criticism of Yogi Adityanath as any other leftist liberal journalist. And tried to paint him as someone who is opposed to the interests of Muslims.
It is clear from a plethora of instances quoted above that Arnab Goswami who is widely followed by right wingers is not exactly the hero he stated to be. He is, without a doubt, a nationalist in his discourse but when it comes to social, cultural and religious issues especially concerning Hindus he can’t look above the narrow prejudices and biases that have been peddled and propagated by the liberal sections of the media for decades.
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