'Is it unpatriotic to criticise the Indian govt?': BBC journalist questions BJP spokesperson Gopal Agarwal

'You're the biggest democracy in the world,' BBC's Emily Maitlis said. 'You can handle criticism, can't you?'

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
Article image

Politicians tend to lead a charmed life on Indian news channels. There's more than enough space to spout random theories, deliver hate speech, and say what you like without being held accountable.

Which is why BJP national spokesperson Gopal Agarwal might have had a rude shock on Tuesday when he appeared on BBC show Newsnight.

“Why are you spending your time shutting down social media posts instead of dealing with the crisis?” host Emily Maitlis asked Agarwal bluntly, talking about how the government had tweets that criticised India's Covid crisis removed.

Agarwal's response was that Maitlis's information was "completely incorrect", saying that some Twitter handles which did not "originate in India" were posting the exact same sentences.

Maitlis asked, "You're a democracy. You're the biggest democracy in the world. You can handle criticism, can't you?" Agarwal said that the government took action on Twitter handles and "toolkit instruments" that are "not conducive to current national interest and are completely based on fake news and with an agenda".

But Maitlis didn't back down. "Let me ask you something very simple," she said. "Is it unpatriotic to criticise the Indian government? For the people in your country, to criticise the Indian government and what prime minister Modi is doing, is it unpatriotic if they write these things on Twitter?...Multiple people are dying."

Watch the entire clip here.

Also see
article imageMadhya Pradesh is undercounting Covid deaths?
subscription-appeal-image

Power NL-TNM Election Fund

General elections are around the corner, and Newslaundry and The News Minute have ambitious plans together to focus on the issues that really matter to the voter. From political funding to battleground states, media coverage to 10 years of Modi, choose a project you would like to support and power our journalism.

Ground reportage is central to public interest journalism. Only readers like you can make it possible. Will you?

Support now

Comments

We take comments from subscribers only!  Subscribe now to post comments! 
Already a subscriber?  Login


You may also like