Author: Saadut
•10:25 PM


Every night an adrenalin gushing circus is beamed into Indian homes where the circus master cracks his whip to thunderous sounds of ‘the country wants to know’, taming his multi boxed participants into mute submission. And every night Arnab Goswami assumes the mantle of India’s Chief Judge, Jury and Executioner, hanging the ones he deems fit and demeaning the ones he hates but would not yet hang. For the willfully gullible Indian public, while most of his antics are a cheap entertainment upgrade from the monotony of daily saas-bahu soaps, for many others his twisting of facts create an illusion they are herded to believe in. In this TRP game of Indian news broadcast where the medium paced New Delhi centric media used to cook news on a slow heat, he seems to have found his ‘B-grade bollywood success mantra’ by manufacturing issues and packaging ant in a jumbo box. 

And India seems to be so fond of this ‘American fox’ replicating news presentation, that every night guests continue to be shouted at by the ring master, some same ones who had been made a spectacle of few days ago. The biggest irony is not that he repeats his theatrics each night, but that he presents his spectacle as journalism, thundering “How dare you ask me if I have the right to ask you or not? I have every right to ask you what I want to ask you!” That he wants Indian national policy to be defined by his outbursts in another tragedy but the bigger one again is that many Indian politicians actually take a cue from his rants and carry his ant boxes out of the studios to be used for aiming at political opponents. 

This self obsessed, utterly argumentative, audiometric specimen and self certified Mr. Know All, has a particular love for en'masse certifying Kashmiris as anti nationals, fit only to be executed without a trial in India.  His other love of course being to verbally bomb Pakistan, but this second love somehow seems to be linked for his first love of treating Kashmir in utter contempt.  And in both these obsessions his studio pal Maroof Reza provides him the perfect tango partner, especially when Arnab, in a tone he would usually address his wife, says “Maroof, we have a serious problem here!” like “Honey, what to do now!” To which Maroof, the other self possessed Mr. Know All, thunders “This is a great conspiracy against the Indian nation and we (pointing beefy fingers at Arnab and self, ‘We’ meaning only the two of them can save India now) will not allow such conspiracies!!!

His claims of knowledge notwithstanding, most of his rants on Kashmir are either hollow on facts or reek of an apathetic prejudice. Sample this, in reply to being told that Masarat Aalam had been released on court orders and Indian Supreme Court directive, he continues to rant “but why has the J&K government released him?!!!!!” He goes further accusing The pro Pakistan Chief Minister ....has left his ally the BJP on the edge by releasing a top anti India campaigner. If he has his way, 10,000 more could be freed.” It took Arun Jailtley to call this bluff in the Indian Parliament “are you (the parliamentarians) telling the world that we have kept 10,000 political prisoners... You have to have some sense of responsibility (while making such statements)." The number was suddenly revised to 800 by the opposition, a clear downgrade of 9,200 prisoner numbers. And if a proclaimed Indian by conviction, Mufti Syed, according to Arnab is a ‘Pro Pakistan Chief Minister’ then Omar Abdullah surely must be feeling like Che Guevara.

Incongruity is not only that ranters like Arnab, and his permanent panelists who have nothing but hate for Kashmir, resort to lies, like blaming Aalam squarely for the 128 killings of 2010, but they also have, on a daily basis, demeaned the tragedy of Kashmiris. While all kids killed in 2010 were murdered by Indian forces, following protests against Machil fake encounter by Indian army and Tufail, Zahid & Wamiq killings, not one mention has ever been made during these ranting discussions about justice for these kids. Clearly Arnab and most of his panelists do not grieve for the killed kids of Kashmir but are only concerned at muzzling voices in the valley who may question the iron fisted policies of New Delhi on Kashmir. If the Arnab demands the arrest of Masarat Aalam in the name of national security, just because he echoes what other separatist leaders have been saying for decades, why then have they never sought action against a Mumbai based director, a Pandit who frequents Arnab’s show and last year tried to incite communal hate by falsely and repeatedly claiming that close to 40 yatris had been killed during Amarnath Yatra? While his repeated rumor mongering and incitement to violence clearly came under 153A of the IPC (sub clause c), not a whimper was heard against it nor any action taken. Why, because Kashmiri Muslims are the punching bag for the likes of Arnab and this rumor monger and everything incited or aimed against Kashmiris is forgiven in India.  

A few days ago Masrat Alalam would have been an unknown figure in India, but today, thankfully to the rhetoric drummed by Indian media led by Arnab, Masarat Aalam has assumed an overnight image projection, propelling him to the front line of pro freedom leaders in the valley. Back in Kashmir, this Indian diatribe seems to have marked clear battle lines between New Delhi and Kashmir, where New Delhi is only seen to treat the J&K government as an extension of Indian Home Ministry. And in all this, both Mufti Mohammed Syed and Masarat Aalam seemed to have gained on ground in Kashmir; Mufti seen to have stood up against the dictates of New Delhi while Masarat drumming support from even those quarters in Kashmir who would earlier not have identified with him.
Someday the separatist leadership will have to thank Arnab for unwittingly helping their cause by furthering the divide between Indian and Kashmir, as one gentleman told me “my uncle who is retired now was just telling me this that ‘if I watch him (Arnab) few more times, I might pick up arms"”.  

Like street side junk food in India, his show many not have any great news calorie value, yet each evening many Indians look forward to relish who all shall be fried and baked in the Arnab circus that night. Goswami makes full use of the lynch mob mentality so prevalent in India (and practiced recently in the Assam mob murder), when he opens his evening street fight club allowing some of his panelists to smell blood in the air, grabbing that lynching opportunity with all they can. Every evening Goswami offers an hour of high octane, injected with elevated doses of cocaine like venom in higher pitches, and every next day his audience will want, like is the malaise with other drugs, to get into a higher level of addiction and Arnab’esque ecstasy. While there has to be a break point of this lynch mob shrill and hate addiction, this tone deaf executioner is the last thing India needed to return to sanity.





Saadut 



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