Lutyens media is euphoric for the past few days. Liberals and opposition parties are of the sincere opinion that star-journalist Arnab Goswami has been caught in a tough corner, perhaps for the very first time. Media – mostly Arnab’s rivals, are diligently and without fail reporting daily on the same issue – the leaked chats of Republic Media Network founder. Many genuinely feel that this is the Modi government’s, and generally a right-wing leaning media’s ‘Radia’ moment. Arnab’s rivals in the media and people who despise him are claiming that the star journalist manipulated TRP’s in collusion with former BARC Chief Partho Dasgupta.
The mainstay of Lutyens and liberals to mount an all-out attack against Arnab Goswami are the man’s private chats with Dasgupta, leaked allegedly by the Mumbai Police to get back on the Republic TV Chief. In the chats, Arnab Goswami can be seen telling Partho Dasgupta after the Pulwama attack of 2019, that something very big was going to happen. This was a pre-emptive indication of the Indian Air Force’s Balakot airstrikes, sanctioned by Prime Minister Modi. Arnab’s rivals are trying very hard to make Indians believe that only Arnab knew about the ‘airstrikes.’ That is not the case. In fact, 1.3 billion Indians knew that Pakistan would be made to pay a heavy price after the Pulwama attack. The media too was aware of a lot of things, like the Times of India had a whiff. And there is much more:
Perhaps Times Now can answer how the parent newspaper did not just think something big would happen in retaliation to Pulwama, but was also sure that precision air strikes were the favoured option. https://t.co/lpufcguwDJ
— Ajit Datta (@ajitdatta) January 18, 2021
Thread on the #ArnabGate #WhatsAppLeaks. Alleged Journos are outraging how Arnab knew a retaliatory strike for #PulwamaAttack was imminent days before. Well here’s a list of people who knew beforehand
1. @htTweets because the PM said so on 23rd FEB pic.twitter.com/fBIpd4zagB
— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) January 17, 2021
The Modi government made no secret of the fact that there would be incredibly devastating consequences for Pakistan after the Pulwama attack. As a matter of fact, no less than Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, apart from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh himself assured Indians that there would most definitely be hard-hitting action against Pakistan and the terror groups it harbours after the Pulwama attack.
With PM Modi at the helm of affairs in India, it goes without saying that acts of terror perpetrated by Pakistan on Indian soil will not go unpunished. The Modi government by 2019 had set a solid precedent of retaliating disproportionately to any and all Pakistani terror strikes against India. As such, Arnab Goswami did not say anything extraordinary or out of the blue to Partho Dasgupta in his private chats, which by the way, are by no means meant for nationwide public consumption.
Now that we are speaking of it, that the Modi government would authorise India’s forces to take jaw-breaking action against Pakistan was largely public knowledge. India retaliating to the Pulwama attack was not a subject of ifs, but rather more of when. And then, for anyone who has gone through the entirety of Arnab’s leaked chats, it would be known that nowhere does the journalist pin-pointedly mention that ‘airstrikes’ would be conducted by the Indian Air Force. The most that Arnab goes on to say is that something ‘big’ would happen, which we all knew.
The media reporting aggressively on what is being called ‘Arnab Chatgate’ would be doing a disservice of the highest order to their profession if they go around claiming that it was only Goswami who knew of the Balakot airstrikes, or for that matter, the abrogation of Article 370. All senior journalists with reliable sources in the government had a fairly rough idea of what was about to happen – and they would be lying if they today claim they had no idea about anything such. Such journalists would also be advised to quit the profession, as they are evidently terrible at their job.
As for the remainder of the chats, nowhere could it be found that Arnab Goswami actively indulged in alleged TRP fraud in collusion with the former BARC Chief, which is why he has not been named among those accused in the case by the Mumbai Police in its supplementary charge sheet filed last week. The most that we were able to make out from the chats is that Arnab likes to win, and is willing to pull a few strings here and there to achieve that objective – which is perfectly human. The man is an entrepreneurial beast. Lutyens, rival channels and liberals despise him for a reason. And, that reason is that he is an existential threat to them.