Rise of Hindutava has been a bad news for media. Journalist are under constant threat in India. According to Rana Ayub in her opinion piece in Washington Post
‘Fabrication, hyper-nationalism and self-censorship are on the rise as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi tightens its grip on the country’s political and economic life. High-profile journalists have been pushed aside for not toeing the line. As a result, many of India’s finest journalist and editors can’t find supportive newsrooms.”
But Journalist like Arnab Goswami, who are know supporters of Modi, BJP and Hindutava are enjoying a first class freedom of press and speech.
Below we take a brief look at what Wikipedia has to about him:
- He has been noted for his opinionated reporting in support of Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva across a wide spectrum of situations.
- uncritical reproduction of government narratives,
- avoiding criticism of figures from the ruling party.
- Presenting political opponents in a negative light.
- Goswami has been also linked with the popularisation of the neologisms — Urban Naxal and Anti-national
- Attempts to quell communal tensions through irresponsible reporting containing religious overtones have been alleged.
As per Dexter Filkins in his work “Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India” :
“Modi’s supporters often get their news from Republic TV, which features shouting matches, public shamings, and scathing insults of all but the most slavish Modi partisans. Founded in 2017 with B.J.P. support, Republic TV stars Arnab Goswami, a floppy-haired Oxford graduate who acts as a kind of public scourge for opponents of Modi’s initiatives.
In a typical program, from 2017, Goswami mentioned a law mandating that cinemas play the national anthem, and asked whether people should be required to stand; his guest Waris Pathan, a Muslim assemblyman, argued that it should be a matter of choice.
Why can’t you stand up? – Goswami shouted at Pathan. Before Pathan could get out an answer, he yelled again, Why can’t you stand up? What’s your problem with it?
Pathan kept trying, but Goswami, his hair flying, shouted over him:- I’ll tell you why, because—I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you why. Can I tell you? Then why don’t you stop, and I’ll tell you why? Don’t be an anti-national! Don’t be an anti-national! Don’t be an anti-national!.”
India, where press freedom/ freedom of speech is becoming more distant everyday, people like Arnab Goswami are enjoying the full freedom. Freedom to say baseless facts, freedom to accuse, freedom to stoke racial tension freedom of fear mongering.