How Arnab Goswami Can Really Hurt Sonia Gandhi

Arihant Pawariya

Apr 24, 2020, 06:05 PM | Updated 07:13 PM IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi. 
Congress president Sonia Gandhi. 
  • If Arnab Goswami really wants to hurt Sonia Gandhi, he should go after her legacy which is nothing but a heady mix of high doses of communalism combined with high doses of socialism.
  • He should use his bully pulpit to destroy the minorityism injected by Sonia Gandhi in India’s body polity.
  • Republic TV owner and chief anchor Arnab Goswami is in the firing line of the Indian National Congress (INC) party’s workers and supporters after he launched a scathing attack on its current working President Sonia Gandhi. His searing monologue questioning Gandhi’s silence over lynching of two sadhus in Maharashtra, a state where her party is in power, has caused a lot of heartburn in the party nourished ecosystem.

    One is not sure what hurt the INC sympathisers more — Goswami calling Gandhi by her birth name of Antonio Maino or him alleging her to be happy over the killing of the sadhus implying her complicity or him telling the audience about her writing letters and reporting to a foreign nation, Italy, regarding the same.

    Whatever it is, Goswami’s three-pronged attack accusing her of hypocrisy, berating her for her lack of humanity and putting in dock her loyalty to India - has really hit where it hurts the most.

    While Congressmen are running helter-skelter over Goswami’s remarks, even demanding that Goswami be jailed, they have behaved in the same fashion (or worse) while dealing with the BJP leaders.

    No less than INC’s national spokesperson regularly refers to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by his pre-Sanyas name which is certainly worse than calling Gandhi by her birth name. The INC leaders, including their journalist sympathisers have abused Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and others using much worse expletives. And no less than Gandhi questioned the patriotism of a saint-like politician Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was prime minister not to speak of the leading luminaries of the left ecosystem, close to the INC, making baseless accusations that the RSS secretly runs the government.

    The only difference between Goswami and his co-professionals on the other side of the ideological spectrum who take on Modi and the BJP is that the former delivered his punches in Hindi while the latter do so in Tharoorian English — one in which the ability to use long, obscure words instead of simple, easily understood ones matters more than the strength of one’s arguments

    Nonetheless, from the way things are playing out, Goswami is unlikely to relent. If anything, he is going to be more aggressive against Sonia Gandhi, as was visible in his prime time show yesterday. Congress using its top legal talent to hound him in courts and workers trying to assault him physically isn’t helping.

    So, what should he do? The thing about using caustic words and fiery language against a public personality is that it stops being effective after a while. And politicians tend to be thick-skinned. Even the likes of Sonia Gandhi, who aren’t accustomed to such kind of direct verbal attacks, stop caring when the shock value of Goswami’s performance loses novelty.

    But politicians do care about their legacy the most. If Arnab Goswami really wants to hurt Sonia Gandhi, he should go after her legacy which is nothing but a heady mix of high doses of communalism combined with high doses of socialism.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was expected to dismantle both these pillars of her legacy, seems reluctant to do so. Goswami can help prepare the groundswell needed to push India towards a better polity.

    There was a lot of hue and cry when Manmohan Singh said that minorities, especially Muslims have the first claim over the country’s resources. Goswami has also outraged over this. But Singh was not talking out of his hat. He was stating Sonia Gandhi’s policy. And he implemented her philosophy.

    Goswami should pick up any budget document and he will see special outlays for minorities under “Core of the core schemes“ which comprise of all the schemes that are top priority for the centre in allocating budget monies.

    These schemes, run out of the Minority Affairs ministry, and cost around 5,000 crores are only available for the development of minorities scholarships, loans at cheaper rates, skill development schemes, etc. Goswami should shout from the top of his voice demanding why such sectarian schemes, implemented during Sonia Gandhi’s rule, are still in place.

    He should ask why we have a communal structure in form of the National Commission For Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI), a statutory body that provides minority certificates to education institutions and which can’t have a Hindu as its member. After all this body was established by Sonia Gandhi’s government in 2004 via an ordinance.

    Goswami should ask the government why linguistic minorities, which have equal rights under Article 30 as religious minorities, don’t get similar rights.

    Goswami should go hoarse asking why the Right to Education Act of 2009 brought by Sonia Gandhi is only applicable to those who identify themselves as Hindus.

    He should demand answers to why the government of India is implementing communal budgeting in secular policies by allotting 15 per cent targets for religious minorities rather than giving subsidy to people on the basis of need.

    There are minority education institutions in the country which are funded by the government up to 95 per cent, yet they do not have to follow reservation guidelines for SC/ST/OBCs in hiring teachers. Goswami needs to call this out everyday.

    These policies, which are far from being exhaustive, were all implemented when Sonia Gandhi’s party was in power at the centre. Her communal policies are still being implemented with same vigour.

    Goswami has one of the biggest microphones in the country. He is certainly the loudest of all. He should use his bully pulpit to some patriotic use and re-dedicate his life to destroying the minorityism injected by Sonia Gandhi in India’s body polity. This is the only way he can really hurt her.

    Arihant Pawariya is Senior Editor, Swarajya.

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