Even as the government is trying to find out who bashed up the media at Patiala House in the garb of lawyers, TV anchors continue their diatribe against some mysterious perceived conspiracy against the country.
This is because Arnab Goswami is safe sitting in his studio shouting down panelists, declaring them secessionists in his Kangaroo court night after night while the print media reporters have to go to the spot for reporting.
Ever since the event at JNU played out he, and several other TV anchors particularly on Newsx, are in a competition as to who is the most patriotic of the lot.
Every one who supports the autonomy of institutes like JNU including teachers from Delhi University and JNU is accused of treason by these self proclaimed guardians of India without explaining why Section 124 A under which Bal Gangadhar and Mahatma Gandhi were arrested is one of the most obnoxious acts of the IPC.
So much so that even the first Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru wanted it to be removed. But their actions are creating a mass hysteria in the country of which the print media reporters became victims at the Patiala House.
You just have to read the account of these reporters including those of the Times of India to realize that the real enemies of a free press are not the Modi Bhakts but the likes of Arnab Goswami and his ilk who are inciting lynch mobs to settle scores as ruthlessly as they do with their panelists.
On one program on Times Now a Mufti was invited to the program and even before he could open his mouth he was denounced as a traitor and forced to walk out of the show.
The atmosphere has been so vitiated that the Home Minister of the country openly accuses Hafiz Mohammad Saeed of backing the JNU while the dreaded terrorist himself is denying his involvement in the issue.
A former Solicitor of India Soli Sorabji has gone on record to say that none of the provisions of the Sedition Act apply to Kanhaiya Kumar, president of JNUSU who has been arrested under Section 124 A but who cares.
Anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai or Barkha Dutt who have bee preaching tolerance and reason through their programs and their social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter seem to be on the losing side in this verbal war where one who shouts loudest is perceived as the winner.
Talking about the autonomy of Kashmir has become such a major issue today. But more than 15 years ago I remember Vir Sanghvi, editor of Hindustan Times writing a centre page edit suggesting that if people of Kashmir did not want to live with India they should be allowed to go because India was spending a lot of money on keeping them together.
There was huge controversy about his suggestion but no one charged him with sedition. Will we ever get back to the same kind of tolerance on political discourse?
By Amitabh Srivastava