Senior journalist Arnab Goswami may be away from television for some time now but, he didn’t shy away from hitting at the liberal hypocrisy prevailing in the country. “I will always stand up for the national anthem and speak in favour of the Indian Army. Does that make me a Sanghi?” questioned an enraged Arnab while addressing the crowd at FICCI FLO event in Chennai on 21st February. The prime time host who has been carrying the baton of patriotism on Indian television for some time now, was clearly not impressed with double standards of people when it comes to nationalism.
He started his speech by talking about the heated topic of tolerance in the country that sparked big controversy in 2016 involving Bollywood star Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao. Arnab asked, “Why are tolerant so intolerant in our country and can we tolerate it any longer? Should there be tolerance for those who run down the country?”
Referring to the unfortunate event that happened at Uri on 18th September 2016, where 19 Indian soldiers martyred, Arnab asked why there were no protests then. “There was no candlelight vigil. There was no petition. JNU was quiet. Kanhaiya disappeared, he was nowhere to be seen. There was no championing of causes. The hypocrisy is this that the same lobby that pretends in their own convenient way of cause to be the torchbearers of our national interest, did not protest when Uri happened,” he asked.
Speaking on how youth in the country is being misguided, Arnab said, “Not standing for the National Anthem has become a fashion statement. Is tolerance defined by supporting Yakub Memon instead of celebrating the national anthem? And, if it is tolerant, then why isn’t it liberal to say that we will not tolerate talks with Pakistan until they stop killing our soldiers.”
Watch Arnab Goswami’s full speech here:
Arnab continued by questioning that why is it intolerant to call Maoists out of their violence? He added, “Why then is it intolerant to question the selected hypocrisy of those returning their awards? And why is it not liberal to question someone who refuses to stand for the national anthem?” He didn’t spare those people either who called Jallikattu an inhuman practice. Arnab called them out by saying, “Why ladies and gentleman, was there a muteness by those who position themselves as tolerant and liberal. And all those people who spoke about it (Jallikattu), not one of them said Green Peace was breaking the rules. These are the same people who opposed Jallikatu. I see a motive there.”
Interestingly, this speech came just one day before students clashed in Delhi University’s Ramjas college once again fueling the debate about freedom of speech. In last one week, many celebrities like Virender Sehwag, Javed Akhtar, Babita Phogat and Randeep Hooda have found themselves poking their nose in students politics giving it a dirty twist. Arnab is currently busy in setting up his own media channel Republic TV through which he’ll be returning to Indian television.