Ranjona Banerji: Party propagandist Arnab Goswami’s plywood martyrdom

10 Nov,2020

By Ranjona Banerji


Moses was a reporter working with the Tamilan TV channel in Tamil Nadu. On the night of November 8, he was brutally hacked with sickles near his home on the outskirts of Chennai. He was rushed to hospital, but it was too late. Moses was 29. He had been covering illegal land sales in the area and his murder appears to be connected to his work.


Moses is one of many journalists across the world who are attacked and often killed for doing their jobs. Their deaths receive almost no recognition, not least from within the journalistic community nor in the world at large, barring international organisations like the Committee to Protect Journalists or Reporters Without Borders.

The harsh truth is because they are not important enough in the larger scheme of attention-grabbing high-profile “journalists” or they are too regional, too local, too remote. Also, people are just too cynical and uncaring. Whatever the reason, Moses will never get the same amount of attention, or forget that, Moses will not get even a 100th of the attention, being given to that imposter Arnab Goswami of Republic TV.

Moses was killed in the line of duty. Goswami was arrested in an abetment to suicide case from 2018 and has been screaming blue murder about a scratch he received on his arm ostensibly due to “police brutality”. Did I mention that Moses was hacked to death by sickles because he was investigating illegal land sales?

Yet, there are those amongst us who plead that we must support Goswami because he is being hounded by a vindictive Maharashtra government. Probably, he is. The current dispensation ruling Maharashtra is not known for its love of journalists nor even for its great regard for freedom of expression. But you could also argue that it was Goswami who gave them the handle. The case he has been arrested for its related to non-payment of dues for work he had commissioned and the subsequent resultant suicide of the man who named Goswami in his suicide note.

There is the additional problem that the earlier government in power in Maharashtra, headed by Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, did not investigate the case fully. And the fact that the current chief minister Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena is at loggerheads with his former allies. Plus, the Maharashtra government had made it clear that the “abetment to suicide” case would be reopened. And the pressure being put on them by the victim Anvay Naik’s family, especially his daughter who has provided evidence of intimidation by Goswami. And let’s also add that Goswami’s channel also has complaints of TRP manipulation and fraud against it.

No possible argument can therefore be made that Goswami has been targeted for his “journalism” inasmuch that he has even practised journalism for the past seven years. It is hard to imagine what argument must be made to convince us that Anvay Naik and his family do not deserve justice because Goswami is a person of “stature” as Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad kindly informed the people of India. Or that TRP fraud must now be deemed acceptable.

Let Goswami play the Indian legal system on his own time and money and plot his plywood martyrdom with the help of his party and fellow propagandists.

Senior journalist Smruti Koppikar explains the ins and outs and underlying details of the Goswami case in this insightful analysis:

Journalists can cover the spectacle. No need for tears.


The American media appears to have reset itself for the new presidency after the tumultuous Trump years. CNN has been airing the quite funny spectacle of Fox News reporters correcting their pro-Trump anchors over election fraud. The Earth rotates. Worms turn.


Ranjona Banerji is a senior editor and commentator. She writes on MxMIndia every Tuesday and Friday. Her views here are personal

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