The past few days have brought to light the perils of criticising a certain Antonia Maino — Member of Parliament from the safe seat of Rai Bareilly as the Indian National Congress left no stone unturned to harass and vilify journalist Arnab Goswami for his sheer audacity to pose questions on their godmother. We live in a country where the liberals and the so-called activists of freedom of expression have made their careers by abusing the Modi government day in day out and even resorting to spreading fake news with case in point being the co-founder of a certain leftist propaganda portal. On one hand, the liberals freely cry fascism while comparing Modi to Hitler and escape with absolutely no consequences, on other hand, a journalist is attacked and harassed as Arnab Goswami was questioned for almost 12 hours by the Mumbai Police just for having the sheer audacity to question Antonia Maino who is nothing but a fading dynast.
Goswami appeared to have triggered the Congress ecosystem by criticising their godmother over the Palghar mob lynching incident as he called her by her maiden name Antonia Maino and asked if she would have remained silent had Maulvis or Christian Padres were targeted the way Hindu Sadhus were targeted. Goswami also said, “She (Sonia Gandhi) would prepare a list and send it to Italy, mentioning how she formed a government in a state, where Sadhus are now getting killed, and she would receive applause from there (Italy).”
What happened next displays the seething intolerance in the Congress party over anyone daring to ask tough questions on their godmother. Antonia Maino then ordered her goons in the Indian Youth Congress to attack Arnab and his wife while simultaneously filing over 100 FIRs in Congress-ruled states.
Yesterday, the Mumbai Police questioned Arnab for almost 12 hours over an incident which is already available in public forums. Even hardened criminals or politicians facing grave accusations like Robert Vadra and Shashi Tharoor haven’t been questioned, but Arnab was because how dare he question the godmother.
The Indian National Congress sought to scare Arnab and warn anyone even thinking of questioning Antonia Maino about the consequences that they will have to face if they raise a finger against her. However, no sooner did Arnab’s interrogation end, in no time, Arnab freshened up and conducted his debate with renewed vigour and energy and took umpteen potshots at Maino and her lackeys.
He started his debate by thanking the nation for their “unwavering support” and stated, “Sonia Gandhi also known previously as Antonia Maino” which set the stone of the debate and he then preceded to obliterate in seconds all her lackeys who were celebrating Arnab’s interrogation on Twitter. Arnab yet again questioned Sonia Gandhi over her silence on the Palghar lynching and labelled Congress Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel as “seriously unemployed”.
Ever since Republic TV was launched by Arnab Goswami, there has been a paradigm shift in India’s mainstream media industry, with the Arnab Goswami-led TV channel repeatedly bagging the first rank both in terms of public reach and viewership. Republic TV remains the leading TV channel in terms of All India (Urban+Rural) Males 22+ individuals for ratings which has forced journalists like Rahul Kanwal to slice data which suits their channel and falsely claim that India Today is the leading channel which is clearly not the case.
Arnab by addressing Sonia Gandhi with her maiden name opened a can of worms and trigged the Congress which willfully walked into the trap laid by him. Congress has reacted to Arnab’s criticism in a vindictive manner, which was expected from the start. The hounding of Arnab further rekindles the memories of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi and exposes how the party never really stood for freedom of expression which is beautifully encapsulated by Anand Ranganathan in his Twitter thread.
251. @INCIndia workers workers storm in, disrupt the screening of the film The Accidental Prime Minister, vandalise the theatre, tear apart the screen; this on the day their leader @RahulGandhi speaks of rising intolerance in India. (h/t @AdvaitaKala) https://t.co/9ntOHuMdzL
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) January 12, 2019
Even when UPA was in power, no journalist dared to ask Sonia Gandhi tough questions as it was an unwritten rule to never question the apex family. The likes of Rajdeep Sardesai might be taking potshots at Arnab Goswami and his journalism, Sardesai’s style of journalism was in full display when he interviewed Sonia Gandhi in 2016. Some of the highlights of Sardesai’s questions were:
“The first time you met Indira Gandhi.. do you remember it?”
“When you came to India for the first time and met Mrs. Gandhi, what was she like at home?”
“Your mother-in-law would ask every evening where are you going?”
“Was it a traditional Saas Bahu relation?”
“ Was there a lot of privacy that Indira Gandhi gave you as a couple”
Notice how even his question about dynastic politics sounded like light questions without much harshness.
The interview hit the nail in the head as the INC members must have cried after this interview as Rajdeep’s line of questioning revealed Sonia’s struggle. The party’s happiness knew no bounds when in one of her interviews to Shekhar Gupta, who is now the Editor’s Guild President, where the nation got to learn that Sonia can cook pasta. How dare Arnab Goswami ask tough questions, how dare he question Sonia over her silence on the Palghar lynchings and not ask her about whether Sonia can cook mixed sauce pasta?
Arnab and Congress go a long way back as the core team of Republic TV which used to work back then in Times Now, led from the front when it came to Coal scam, 2G scam, Commonwealth and the Adarsh scams. Arnab’s interview of Rahul Gandhi just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections will likely go down in history as Rahul Gandhi ended up exposing himself. Congress was planning to launch the Gandhi scion in a grand way, but the country came to know how clueless the man is, by the time the interview ended. Arnab Goswami stepped up things, asking tough questions like the 1984 riots, avoiding a direct face-off with (now) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and multiple scams during the UPA government’s second tenure.
Rahul Gandhi’s answers were actually “unbelievable”, and to this day we fail to figure out what he was even trying to say. All his answers were absurd and a pointless attempt to avoid what Goswami kept asking. This interview must have been the point where the Congress started harbouring hostility towards then Times Now Editor-in-chief.
While the two Congress goons who had attacked Arnab and his wife have been granted bail despite the glaring evidence and the fact that Congress leader Alka Lamba celebrating the attack on him, Arnab has only started. Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Sanjay Jha have tried to threaten him in the past to little avail. Rest assured, Arnab will only step up his offensive against Sonia Gandhi.
Mumbai: Two people who were arrested in connection with the attack on Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami have been granted bail by Bhoiwada Court.
— ANI (@ANI) April 27, 2020
When we win in 2019, this religious bigot, who regularly spews hatred, spreads fake news and polarises society, a #RSS–#BJP mole masquerading as a TV anchor will be sacked. It is a promise, Arnab Goswami. https://t.co/9z6kCM2sHB
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) November 3, 2018