Interrogation of Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic News network, for 12.5 hours by the Mumbai police over an FIR filed against him by Congress leaders shows how Freedom of Expression has become the fiefdom of a few in our country.
The FIR registered by Nagpur Police against Arnab Goswami following a complaint filed by Maharashtra Minister Nitin Raut has resulted in more than 12 hour grilling session by the Police, which is still continuing. And this gives us a peek into how the Freedom of Expression has become the fiefdom of a few in our country.
Ever since Narendra Modi stepped into the fray for becoming the Prime Minister of Bharat, there has been extreme polarisation in the News reportage. The last few months has seen extreme polarisation especially during and after the Delhi Riots and the Shaheen Baug incidents. It is almost as if one has to walk like one is stepping on eggshells if one wanted to report on the riot or Shaheen Baug. The hypocrisy surrounding this was very evident and Press took every caution to show the Minority community only as victims. The International Media too was very careful in spreading only this perception.
One wonders whether the Majority has any say in the Rights of this country at all. We cannot speak against the Judiciary which tramples upon the most ancient practices of our Temples, we cannot mourn the brutal killing of our Intelligence Bureau personnel, we cannot speak against the poor who lost their homes, their schools, their livelihoods in the riots in Delhi, we cannot open our mouths to condemn the ruthless killing of our Sadhus – those Sadhus who did not have any material or family ties at all. Even doing so on Social Media has resulted in Hindus being arrested or beaten up. Is this Freedom of Expression or Freedom to Trample the Rights to Speak of the Majority community?
Arnab Goswami, the Editor of Republic News, has presented varied viewpoints on all of the above topics, many of them which may be unpalatable. If his views on SabariMala went against the Hindus, his views on Shaheen Baug were not appreciated by the Muslims. But that definitely did not mean that either community physically resorted to harassing him. But the moment he spoke to Antonio Maino, alias Sonia Gandhi, all hell broke loose. The Congress party and its workers went on a rampage and let loose a string of unparliamentary language on every medium possible.
Let us learn from this how the Press and the person who has dared to speak the Truth is muzzled, step by step…
Resort to abuses and speak in cheap language to browbeat the person (like all over Media and Social Media and also by fellow ‘journalists’ of a rival Press/channel)
File FIRs in various States where they rule, with an intention to harass (like in Nagpur and Chhattisgarh)
Withdraw all advertisements to the Channels / Newspapers and cut off their funds
Use Police / Judicial / Party offices to make the person feel fatigued or terrorised (like the ongoing interrogation for 8 hours and counting)
- Resort to Violence to frighten or blackmail or intimidate the person (like the attack on Arnab Goswami and his wife)
If nothing else works, do as is done in films (please use your imagination).
In the meantime the rest of India swallows stories about how PM Narendra Modi ji muzzles the Press and is a Fascist. Slow claps please ….