The world is divided primarily on two fronts. Either you support the leftist ideology, or are simply right wing [apart from a few centrists of course]. In India, the situation is a bit more complicated. Either you’re openly right wing, or you support the right wing in hushed tones. Then come people like Arnab Goswami, who have literally mastered the art of fence sitting.
Recently Arnab Goswami took a surprising, though not entirely unexpected stance over the Citizenship Amendment Bill. He said, “I have reservations over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. I have problems with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The BJP is trying to appease the Sangh Parivar. The “issue” is of “illegal infiltration” — the issue was never about “religion”, “I have always said India is for Indians… now the BJP says India is for Pakistanis…” and Afghanis and Bangladeshis but not one Muslim can “walk into India” — “This is ridiculous, I am against the changes in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill…”
However, Arnab just didn’t stop here. He went on to say, “The BJP, in trying to appease the Sangh Parivar (RSS), saying if Hindus come from Bangladesh and Pakistan, it is okay. Their argument is where will Hindus go — will they go to Indonesia, Malaysia. It is not anyone’s business where the Hindus from Pakistan or Bangladesh go. The BJP has completely destroyed its own position against the illegal infultration of foreigners.”
For those unaware, the Citizenship Amendment Bill [now an Act] provides for citizenship to the oppressed minorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, especially the Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians etc. after having completed some formalities. This neither revokes the citizenship of Indian Muslims, nor does it stop them from seeking refuge in India under valid circumstances.
The same has been clarified at many instances by PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, but the media’s biased coverage has done nothing apart from blowing the issue out of proportions in the Northeast, and sadly Arnab is a party to this too.
However, this is not the first time when Arnab Goswami has resorted to such illogical reporting on an important cultural issue. In 2018, when the issue of Sabarimala Temple was on the rise, Arnab Goswami not only supported the call of allowing women entry into the sanctum sanctorum, but also launched a campaign against those criticizing the same. If this was really about equality, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but Sabarimala was just one of the few temples with unique traditions. Likewise, there are a few temples in India where men are barred from entering. Would Arnab have fought for them as well?
When a girl was sexually assaulted and murdered in Kathua district, Arnab joined the leftist chorus in demonizing the entire Sanatan Dharma. So the question arises – is Arnab Goswami really right wing? If one looks from the perspective of economy or military, Arnab Goswami may look like one. However, one of the most essential requirements of being a true blue right winger is the support for cultural renaissance, and it is here that Arnab Goswami fails massively.
From supporting the entry of women in Shani Shinganapur and Sabrimala to criticizing CAB on absurd grounds, Arnab has been culturally as leftist as anyone can imagine. When two women sneaked into the sanctum sanctorum of Sabrimala premises, Arnab’s Republic TV not only backed this, but also labeled it as a historical step.
As such, Arnab is shooting at his own feet by criticizing CAB on such absurd grounds, because he is not only going astray from his ideology, but also alienating his own loyal viewers, who are culturally right.
It is important to note that Republic TV’s followers are mostly right wing people who watch Arnab’s debates and discussions with much enthusiasm and interest. However, now with Arnab lashing out at the Modi government for the passage of the historic CAB, his channel is definitely going to lose viewers.
One must remember that news channels run on TRP and Republic TV has consistently topped the TRP charts since its inception. But with his anti-CAB stand and constant criticism of the Modi government, Arnab is set to lose a lot of viewers, which will ultimately affect the channel. The way Arnab has unjustly criticized CAB is not something the public would easily forget and his CAB coverage is bound to hit him badly.