Arnab Arrest ‘Nation Wants To Know’
The arrest of Arnab Goswami had reactions both in the media and political circles on the expected lines. It is a case of ‘political harassment’ for some and it is perfect apolitical legal issue for others. In the media one section felt that it is an ‘assault on the media and freedom of expression’ while others opposed to the popularity and style of Arnab Goswami the arrest has nothing to do with his media activity but a clear case of criminal intent.
However, all them were against the way the Maharashtra police behaved with Arnab Goswami while arresting him. The highhandedness of Mumbai police is well known but that rude behaviour is hitherto reserved for gangsters and other criminals is now extended to personalities like Arnab Goswami and there lies the mystery. There is nothing for the police bosses to defend their staff as everything is on tape. The way Arnab Goswami is pulled out of his home and pushed him into the police vehicle is certainly rude and unwarranted.
Arnab Goswami is not habitual offender or a wanted criminal. He is law abiding citizen and responded to police calls in earlier cases. It is difficult to assume that he may run away from police or leave the country. So why should police treat him the way they treated is the question which the police have to answer. The gestures and expressions of police officer who ‘raided’ Arnab’s home and handled him roughly is indicative of a ‘motive’ behind the arrest. Either that police officer had a personal grudge against Arnab or he must have been briefed by his police higherups and political bosses to teach Arnab ‘a police lesson’ for his channel’s running battle with Mumbai police and also with the Chief Minister Uddav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray, ever since Bollywood hero Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide.
That Arnab is targeted both by Shiv Sena and the Mumbai police is well known. The way earlier police summoned him and made him to miss his highly popular evening 9 o clock show is an indicative of efforts of Mumbai police to silence Arnab show and please the political bosses. The Maharashtra coalition headed by Sive Sena with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Congress as partners are under constant attack by Arnab headed Republic TV. He challenged them on many fronts. Arnab threateningly claimed on the screen regarding the involvement of Shiv Sena scion in the Bollywood drug mafia and even claims to have evidence for that. Maybe he was waiting for ‘suitable political timing’ for these videos to telecast. Many Mumbaikars including sivasainiks believe in what Arnab claims but are afraid of saying that in open. As the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case is badly handled by Mumbai police and muck started sticking to the higher ups in Shiv Sena the retaliatory demolition of Kangana Raut’s property on a priority basis was taken up by the Sena controlled Mumbai corporation authorities. It didn’t deter Arnab despite the harassment of the Republic TV staff on some other cases. As things are going more negative for the government and the role of Sharad Pawar came out in the property development and ownership of property the ruling coalition got worried. But for the corona lockdown rules this arrest of Arnab must have happened much earlier. That the arrest of Arnab happened immediately after Sharad Pawar turned active and came out of home ending his corona imposed self-quarantine, confirms that it is all done under the guidance of Pawar. The Thackerays, though had the intention to arrest Arnab they were not that politically savvy in handing that.
It is Sharad Pawar’s active role, obviously, in finding the family members of Anvay Naik, the interior designer who committed suicide in 2018, made them to give some papers as fresh evidence against Arnab Goswami for his involvement in abetting the suicide. Once the plan was hatched perfectly now the police, who are always serve the interests of the rulers, swung into action and rest we saw on the screen.
That the Mumbai police are after Arnab is well known. They filed an FIR against him earlier for alleged inflammatory remarks in TV debates. He is also accused of broadcasting news and views which are potentially communal and which have a chance to inflame passions among different communities leading to violence in the society. Then one day police of Mumbai city suddenly discovered TRPs scam involving Republic TV. None of them were substantiated with evidence. As the current cases are not to their advantage the ruling class and police thought of booking him under a old case, which they successfully revived.
The case which resulted in the arrest of Arnab Goswami related to a suicide of Anvay Naik, an interior designer, who worked for Republic TV and for some other people. The interior designer is claimed to have committed suicide as Arnab Goswami and other two failed to clear their bills resulting in huge unbearable financial loss leading to the suicide. On the basis of the ‘suicide note’ of the victim a case was booked in 2018 and after observing the evidences the competent court in 2019 formally closed the case and discharged Arnab Goswami. That case came in handy to settle their score for Sharad Pawar and Thackeray to fix Arnab and using their powers the old case was reopened with the claim that closure of the case happened under the political patronage of then government headed by Devendra Fadnavis of BJP to save Arnab. But what Shiv Sena forgets is that they are partners in that NDA government and they are a party to the closure of the case. Politics make strange bedfellows and now Shiv Sena is ‘in bed’ not only with Congress but also NCP with whom they were fighting ever since Shiv Sena was registered as regional party.
If the alleged suicide note of Anvay Naik which is in circulation in social media is the ‘clinching evidence’ as claimed by the police Arnab Goswami is sure to walk out free from this case. Even for casual look that letter won’t look to be written by a ‘disturbed ’person on the way to end life. The traumatic stage will not give him to put suicide note heading and write the letters with such a clarity. Perhaps the political masters and strategists of Maharashtra also know this and their main intention was not to prove Arnab Goswami as guilty but to teach him a lesson for taking on them and damaging their image. It is a political game and this round went to Pawar and and there will be many rounds left once Arnab get the bail and BJP stands by him. The ultimate fight is worth watching for the nation.
By Dr. Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao