You might not expect him to but a video has surfaced in which India’s most (in)famous news anchor and TV journalist Arnab Goswami is seen talking about a harrowing experience that he and his colleagues underwent during the Gujarat riots of 2002. Goswami is seen narrating how his office car was surrounded by group of trishul-wielding haters on a killing spree, who stopped them to ask what was their religion. Fortunately, Goswami says in the video, there was no one from the minority community, so they were allowed to go.
Only problem, though this incident happened during Gujarat riots, it was not Arnab Goswami himself who suffered it. In fact, Goswami was nowhere in the scene, as senior journalist and India Today consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai pointed out earlier today, in a series of tweets. It was Sardesai and his colleagues who went through the terrifying episode. Sardesai said:
Wow! My friend Arnab claims his car attacked next to CM Res in Guj riots! Truth:he wasn't covering Ahmedabad riots!! https://t.co/xOe7zY8rCp— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
As Sardesai points out, in 2002, as a journalist with NDTV, Goswami wasn’t covering the Ahmedabad riots, but Sardesai was. In fact, Sardesai describes the episode in his book 2014: The Election that Changed India, and the harrowing imprint it left on his mind. Sardesai tweeted:
Yes, incident which Arnab speaks of did happen. Only he wasn't there, some of us who actually were on ground zero were! (Read my 2014 book)????— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
Am told Arnab speech on Guj riots made to an audience in Assam when Cong in power! Am I surprised? Post truth society mein sab chalta hai!????— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
Two of Sardesai’s colleagues, Sanjeev Singh and Nalin Mehta, corroborated the former’s claims, saying they were there when the incident happened, but Goswami was nowhere in the scene. Apparently, as Sardesai says, Goswami was speaking “to an audience in Assam when Congress was in power”, and evidently, at that time, Goswami wasn’t so bothered by India’s “secularism” as he seems to be now, his self-insertion and fanciful re-narration of the episode notwithstanding.
Reconfirmed by another of our correspondents on the ground. Time to set the record straight and call out impostors. https://t.co/TKvaPKvuhx— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
Naturally, Sardesai is rattled, because Goswami seems to have been habitually lying in public even before setting up his own TV channel, with explicit “nationalist” agenda, facts be damned. Sardesai explained on Twitter some of the facts of the incident that took place with him, but what was pilfered by Goswami as his own at a speech to an audience in Assam when Congress’ Tarun Gogoi was the chief minister.
Fekugiri has its limits, but seeing this, I feel sorry for my profession. https://t.co/xOe7zY8rCp— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
That is correct. And Narendra Gudavalli. https://t.co/rxL5IhYmuY— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
Incident was in Gandhinagar Sarkhej highway, few kilometres away from Cm residence. https://t.co/38AmVPeP3j— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
Only setting the record straight. New day, let's move on to the next story! https://t.co/ZknhLbvvw8— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 19, 2017
So, yes, the incident happened. It happened 50 metres from the then Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi’s, residence in Ahmedabad. Only it happened to Rajdeep Sardesai and his colleagues, and not to Arnab Goswami. Now that he has been so thoroughly exposed to be indulging in “fekugiri”, as Sardesai says, we wonder what nationalist explanation does Goswami have for one, lying in public, and two, for actually acknowledging that trishul-wielders were spreading hate.
Because that’s not something Goswami would say now, would he? Lies, or no lies.