Times Now – Newshour
A voice saying “The storm is coming”, fireworks all around, one man in charge, chaos all over and yet one voice can be heard rising towards the end. Hold it right there before your imagination runs away with you, I’m not speaking of a Nolan Brothers movie but of our very own Dark Knight. Who rises not once, but every night.
I speak of none other than our very own Mr Arnab Goswami.
In what I would easily describe as one of the best Newshour broadcasts ever, Arnab put a whole panel of guests through the third-degree like never before. So, what’s new in this? That for once, he seemed utterly justified in doing so.
The Newshour was on Abhijit Mukherhjee’s reference to the Delhi protesters as “dented and painted” women. The panelists were Rahul Easwar – Social Activist, Rahul Narvekar -Sr Advocate & Spokesperson, Shiv Sena, Vani Tripathi – National Secretary, BJP, Vrinda Grover – Human Rights Lawyer & Activist, Roshan Abbas – Filmmaker, Umang Sabharwal – Organiser, Slutwalk, Arpita Ghosh – Theatre Artist and the star of the moment – Abhijeet Mukherjee, Congress MP. The show began with Roshan Abbas taking on Abhijeet Mukherjee. But what happened next was what the government can describe as the “rarest of the rare cases”. The President’s son was interrogated in a manner only his dad would have interrogated him.
Arnab stepped into the ring soon enough and asked – “I want you to admit tonight. Will you or will you not admit?”. Mr Mukherjee, learning that it is better to not speak one’s mind, repeated one sentence from the beginning till the end – “I have withdrawn my statement”. After hearing Mukherjee repeat himself a few times too many, Arnab decided to turn his ire towards Rahul Narvekar of the Shiv Sena and asked him to speak on politicians. And then – asked him not to bring politics into the discussion!
And just when Abhijieet Mukherjee thought the attention was off of him, Arnab was back. With ill-disguised contempt he reprimanded Mukherjee much like a parent would have. Arnab decided that the nation would pass judgment on Mukherjee and told him he was “immature and unaware of how to conduct himself in public life”.
The topic of the Newshour debate was “What is dented and painted?” The other panellists, while seeming as outraged by Mukherjee’s comments as Arnab was, were left perplexed by Arnab’s ever-changing questions. At one point, Arpita Ghosh tried to make a point valiantly but Arnab decided to focus on Mamata Banerjee instead. Roshan Abbas did make a few valid points only to get interrupted repeatedly.
And then, just when you felt that Mukherjee might burst into tears from repeating the same sentence repeatedly and the debate was getting derailed, Arnab stated the impossible. Something which was even more amazing than one of our politicians making sense. He said, “I am calm and may I speak in between sometimes?!?” Really Arnab, after all these years, dozens of debates, 224354 tweets on your hosting style – who would have thought that you would ask for permission to speak on your own show? The shock of this statement got the discussion right back on track.
In my opinion, the debate was great and some brilliant points were made. And at least Arnab put Abhijeet Mukherjee on the spot. If only Arnab himself wouldn’t digress during his debates. And allow his panellists to speak at least one sentence without interjecting? Till such time, if not propriety, at least the fear of facing Arnab’s anger should make Abhijeet Mukherjee and other politicians think before they speak.