Has Arnab Goswami Gone from Bullying Guests on TV to Intimidating Cops?


Has Arnab Goswami Gone from Bullying Guests on TV to Intimidating Cops?

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

It’s been two weeks since Arnab Goswami’s real life became official primetime news — on his channel Republic TV, at least — but the debate doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The burning question has, instead, reached India’s top court once again.

The Maharashtra government, on Monday, filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the anchor. It says, among other things, that Goswami had been browbeating policemen in person, on his debates, and through various social-media hashtags directed at them.

This behaviour, the government said, is greatly hampering investigations.

The police is currently looking into whether the anchor, when reporting on the Palghar lynching case, had incited communal hatred. In that debate, his remarks linking Congress’s Sonia Gandhi to the incident had drawn the ire of opposition leaders and earned him a number of FIRs to his name.

It didn’t end there. On Sunday, a fresh case was filed against the anchor — this time for implying that there was a connection between the large number of migrant workers who gathered in Mumbai a few weeks ago, and the mosque they were standing too close to.

“There was no link or issue related to the mosque near the Bandra station… But Arnab purposely highlighted the mosque to create communal disturbance in the city,” the FIR says.

Despite the two cases against him, the Maharashtra government’s plea said, “He has repeatedly used his position as well as his channel to make unjustified and unwarranted disparaging, ridiculing, false (as per record) and derogatory statements against the police including the commissioner of police.”

The police also complained that the anchor walked into the station with his cameramen and reporters and “commanded the police to do certain things and act in a certain way as propounded by him.” The plea said this was “creating a fear psychosis”.

A week ago the Supreme Court had granted protection to Arnab Goswami for arrest for three weeks, after a number of Congress leaders filed cases against him. We trust, the nation now wants to know how it will respond to the Maharashtra government’s petition.