“…He’s not ready to answer my question, viewers! Viewers today want to know if Arnab is a coward or a nationalist. Arnab, this is for national interest!”
“Are you a journalist or a coward?”
Kunal Kamra, a 30-year-old political stand-up comedian, most of whose content targets right-wing mentalists, quickly grabbed his opportunity to roast Arnab Goswami on air, literally air. The two were present on the IndiGo flight to Lucknow.
A video of Kunal raging at Arnab was posted by Dhruv Rathee on Facebook, and it became India’s most trending topic on Twitter and the general Indian internet today. The questions as stated at the beginning of this article were directed at Arnab in the video.
Later, Kunal Kamra issued a statement on Facebook explaining more about the incident to steer away from any misunderstanding.
Here, he says that he had “politely asked him to have a conversation”, and waited for Arnab’s pretend phone call to get over. Only after waiting for quite an amount of time he started confronting Arnab with the same style of journalism Arnab himself is popular for.
Though apologizing for disturbing the passengers on the flight, he says that he doesn’t regret what he did. Nearing the end of the video, he says:
“…This is not for you. This is for Rohith Vemula’s mother, whose caste you were discussing on your f*cking show.”
Rohith Vemula is a Dalit student from HCU who was expelled from his hostel as a result of ABVP (student wing of BJP) complaining about Rohith raising issues under ASA (Ambedkar Students Association – representing backward castes in India). He fell victim to suicide and blamed his unfair life (due to caste discrimination) in his suicide note.
Twitter’s Divided Opinions Goes Through The Roof:
This incident brought out a string of opinions on Indian Twitter. First, people against Kamra stated that what he did was nothing less than harassment in a public space. Arnab was praised saying that he handled the situation professionally, while Kunal acted cheaply to get his moment of fame.
Kunal Kamra Gets Barred From Flying With IndiGo:
On the other hand, there were insults hurled on Arnab, and Kunal was extensively praised.
Finally, this is what Kunal Kamra tweeted to address the whole situation.
But was what Kamra did right? Approaching Arnab in a public space, while he flies with no connection in real-time to his profession and demanding to seek an answer does seem a little unethical. Initially, I did agree with some people opposing Kunal on the fact that Arnab rightfully acted upon his right to have his private space. There are other ways Kunal could have brought out this issue – through the Internet, or reaching out to broadcast media with his opinions.
Below are few comments from Dhruv Rathee’s video justifying Kunal’s behavior, which may give us another perspective on the whole situation. As much as people had respect for Arnab when he stayed with Times Now, things took a 180-degree turn after he became an editor and majority owner of Republic TV. His journalism became biased towards the BJP and inevitably started reeking of right-wing propaganda.
After all, Arnab Goswami does wreak havoc by “fuelling divisive politics”.
Is it still justified that Kunal Kamra gets into the no-fly list for 6 months? What Kamra did was a small public disruption compared to the vast amount of (negative) influence Goswami has in the minds of the common public. Who do you think is the bigger problem here?
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