Bizarre Media Moment #17
If you’re a regular at newslaundry, you know by now that we love Arnab Goswami. Some of the ladies here are crazy about him (no, really). Although we incessantly complain about the high decibel levels, we’re glued to Newshour at 9 every night. So you can imagine our shock when Arnab was nowhere to be seen on the show last night!
It started out like any usual Newshour, bristling with patriotism about how Maoist sympathisers were claiming that the recent encounter in Bijapur was fake (maybe they should pronounce an encounter as real once in a while, just to confuse people). However, the Central government and the Chief Minister had claimed that in fact Maoists had used women and children as shields. That would explain the deaths of what were purportedly innocent villagers. Now, one would think this was the perfect setting for Mr Goswami to pronounce the jawans innocent with his media trial. But he was nowhere to be seen.
The aforementioned ladies here are worried. Is he on a holiday? Is he sick? Has he taken a sabbatical and gone to the Himalayas? What is the point of a Newshour without Arnab Goswami? But it’s not like there were no anchors. To replace Goswami (if he can be replaced that is), there were Anand Narasimhan and Sanket Upadhyay, who although provided for a quieter discussion, did a good job. They didn’t spare the doubters either. Sanket Upadhyay, for instance, told panelist Prof G Hargopal that Maoists in the past too have used human shields and it “doesn’t need a genius to understand”. Anand Narsimhan pointed out a UN report that said that Maoists do undertake this practice and use bal dastas or children’s groups.
In came Sudha Ramalingam, Advocate and Vice-President of PUCL, who said killing should only be judicially sanctioned and she wanted an ideal state where no killing takes place at all. Only an emoticon can register our expression at this statement.
Arnab, where were you??!!!
Has Sudha been living under a rock in the past two decades? She simply glossed over figures of killings by Maoists quoted back at her, while conceding just once that tribals do get used by both sides.
Oh Arnab, your line of questioning was sorely missed. A prior warning of your absence would be nice.
Where the hell was he? The country wants to know.