India Today‘s Rahul Kanwal is winning accolades for his response to Union Minister Piyush Goyal during his interaction at the India Today conclave.
Kanwal was talking to Goyal about the international media’s coverage of the Balakot airstrikes. He was speaking about discrepancies in the number of casualties. In the video, Kanwal says that “there are different narratives at play”. One argument is that 300-400 terrorists were killed while the other is that only one person was killed, he adds, asking, “Do you believe this then puts some pressure on India to convince the world, and the public and opposition that the mission was successful?”
In response to Kanwal’s question, Goyal said: “Are you convinced? Are you part of this narrative that tries to belittle our Armed Forces?” He adds: “Are any of you in this room subscribing to what Rahul Kanwal is saying—trying to belittle our Indian Armed Forces, and trying to prove them they are lying? Is that what your intention is Rahul?”
Taking another jibe at Kanwal, Goyal said: “I wonder where this country is going if…you are going to accept what Pakistan says and your colleagues are going to propagate the Pakistan theory in India. I think it is a matter of shame.”
Kanwal reminds the Union Minister that his job as a journalist is to ask questions.
To which, Goyal said: “If you suspect that our Armed Forces haven’t done their jobs rights then it is a very sorry position for a very senior journalist like you coming from a very reputed media house…even willing to consider that kind of a narrative.”
Kanwal responded, “Neither me nor anybody needs a lecture on nationalism or patriotism from you or anybody else.” He added, “This is not a simplistic binary. It’s not as if we don’t believe you we are anti-nationals.”