'Arnab Goswami lacks integrity, credibility as a journalist': Full text of Kerala MP's open letter to Republic TV editor

Read the full text of Kerala MP MB Rajesh's open letter to Republic TV's Arnab Goswami.

FP Staff May 30, 2017 12:13:38 IST
'Arnab Goswami lacks integrity, credibility as a journalist': Full text of Kerala MP's open letter to Republic TV editor

Here's the full text of Kerala MP MB Rajesh's open letter:

Mr Arnab Goswami,

I am writing this open letter regarding the show [on Republic TV] aired on 26 May at 10 pm, in which I too was a participant. During the course of that show, you arrogantly told me, "I have handled bigger leaders than you". Perhaps that was the only truth you said in that entire show.

This one sentence alone is enough to highlight your ego, arrogance and pettiness. I have never claimed that I am a big leader. Just as you have handled much bigger leaders than me, I have had the privilege of talking to anchors who are more honest, gentle, decent, civilised and knowledgeable than you.

You have every right to imagine that you have a larger than life image. But my impression of you is that you are not only biased and prejudiced but that you also lack substance, integrity, credibility and even confidence as a journalist. I am sure that you are well aware of your weaknesses and I have always felt that your screams and outbursts are your frustrated attempts to cover up this confidence deficit. You are the most unethical journalist I have ever seen.

Arnab Goswami lacks integrity credibility as a journalist Full text of Kerala MPs open letter to Republic TV editor

File image of Pallakad MP MB Rajesh. Image courtesy: Facebook/MB Rajesh

On 26 May, I got a call from your channel requesting my time for a debate – 'On three years of the Narendra Modi government', between 10 to 10:15 pm. When I reached the Asianet studio (with whom you have a tie up), as directed by your office at around 9:50 pm, I saw Ravi Shankar Prasad on the screen and came to know that the discussion on Modi government was about to conclude.

I immediately asked the Asianet employees in the Palakkad studio to reconfirm the topic for which I had been invited. Aravind, an Asianet employee, contacted your channel in my presence and reconfirmed the topic as 'three years of Modi government'.

Then suddenly, I came to know on air that you had changed the topic to Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's alleged 'speech against the army'. I could have boycotted the show at that moment but I chose to remain because, in my absence, you may repeatedly scream the lie that I ran away from the show. I wanted to avoid such a situation and tried to present my views on the fabricated story.

Whatever little time I got, in between your uncivilised outbursts, I repeatedly countered your biased statements that Kodiyeri had insulted the Indian Army. I said that not a single TV channel in Kerala, including your own Asianet, had taken up this story as a topic of debate. I said that this was not a controversy in Kerala because everybody knew that his comments were only against the atrocities committed in the name of Armed Forces Special Powers Acts (AFSPA), and not against the army.

Still, you continued your accusations against the CPM as part of your prepared screenplay. I drew your attention to a Supreme Court order, issued on 27 April, 2016, to investigate all the 1,528 murders in Manipur done by security forces under AFSPA. You ignored that inconvenient fact, probably because you might not have keenly observed such issues related to AFSPA. (After all, this sort of journalism, anchoring in your case, depends more on the ability to make as much noise as possible and does not require careful reading, updating, thorough knowledge of the topic and keen observation. People like you can survive with your voice alone, without using your brain.)

Then you, like a coward safely surrounded by the Sangh brigade, continued spitting venomous lies against CPM without even giving me an opportunity to intervene. Despite my repeated statements, that we have never insulted the Indian Army, you deliberately put the subtitle "against army" next to my picture on the screen. This can only be seen as the dirty act of a loyal servant to appease your immediate boss, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and your ultimate masters, the Sangh Parivar.

It was evident from your substandard and abusive remarks against the CPM that your sense of history is poorer than that of a primary school student. Your teacher of history in school would have been much ashamed to see the shameless and naive expression of your ignorance on the subject. If you wish to learn the role of Communists in the Indian freedom struggle, I can suggest some pamphlets used for beginners because you may not be able to digest any serious work of history.

When I told you that it is not the Communists but VD Savarkar who had betrayed the freedom struggle by sending repeated clemency petitions to the British Government, it appeared as if you were hearing about it for the first time in your life. I can send the copies of those clemency petitions for your kind perusal so that the next time you can be better prepared to defend your 'patriotic' Hindutva masters. You can also think of arranging a tuition to help you acquire some basic facts about our history.

Anyway, if you work hard to overcome your deficiencies, you may be able to improve your understanding of various topics to some extent. But I am not sure, whether at this age you will be able to develop the basic norms of conduct, culture and civilised behaviour. Many of these qualities owe much to the manner in which we were brought up in our childhood.

Here, I must tell you that to me, the army is not just a newsroom experience. I was born in a military hospital and my entire childhood was spent in an army environment. Arnab, I am the proud son of a father who served in the Indian Army for long years. He fought in the 1971 war as well. As the ward of a veteran, I've also partaken in the sacrificial living of an army family, like several others. Now, tell me, apart from your highly hypocritical and extremely dramatic expressions in the name of the army, aimed only to raise the ratings, what have you genuinely done for our army?

My last piece of suggestion to you, the self-proclaimed ambassador of the army, is to find time to watch recordings of your 'performances' at least once. Then, you will realise how disgusting it is and will definitely search for some other career options. Till you find time to do that, we will have no other option but to bear with the high levels of pollution created by your senseless utterances.

I dare to write this letter to you because neither am I a big leader, as you rightly pointed out, nor do I wish to become one.

My best wishes and regards,

MB Rajesh

The author of this open letter is a Member of Parliament who represents the Palakkad constituency of Kerala. He is a member of the CPM party.

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