A Lie is a Lie is a Lie

Published: October 25, 2017 - 00:46

I’m guessing every Indian citizen and his/her dog/cat/hamster now knows that Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, told a big fat lie. In case you were sleeping, here goes: a couple of years ago at a public event, Goswami related Rajdeep Sardesai’s anecdote of a rather scary confrontation with a Hindutva mob while covering the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. However, Goswami pretended that it had happened to him and held forth in his charming bombastic style while cameras were rolling.

Then, a few days ago, Karma bit him. Why Karma took so long to respond is baffling, but let’s be reasonable here – perhaps Karma became deaf after watching Goswami’s shows and has just bought a hearing aid? Anyway, after playing a dithering Hamlet for a long time, Sardesai finally exposed Goswami’s lie. Reinforcements in the form of former NDTV colleagues backed Sardesai. The twitterati jumped in with hilarious memes of Goswami being responsible for every earth-shattering event in the world (including posing for Leonardo da Vinci and moonwalking with Neil Armstrong) and the hashtag #ArnabDidIt was trending. An anchor from a rival news channel jumped in as well and held a late night discussion on the subject in which Goswami was denounced as a fantasist, delusional and a legend in his own head.

Now, if I were Goswami, I’d have turned redder than a boiled beet and dug a hole so deep I’d have eventually emerged in Australia and hidden in a kangaroo’s pouch forever and ever, amen. But it’s just water off a duck’s back as far as Goswami is concerned. In his head, he’s still a swashbuckling hero fighting off criminals and traitors. Sometimes he’s Batman in Mumbai city, sometimes Sunny Deol in Gaddar. But the honest truth is, he will be remembered for his role as Pinocchio best. A silent Pinocchio at that, because he still hasn’t said he’s sorry to the public for lying.

Which brings me to a whole bunch of people who haven’t yet said sorry to us either: The Dear Leader’s Pappus, formerly known as Bhakts. Well, we’re used to them cheering madly and screaming “Master-stroke!” when the Dear Leader does anything at all; heck, he’s congratulated for even tying his shoelaces. We know they believe in him the way fanatics believe in God and sing his praises from dawn to dusk, etc. So it was expected that they would cheer madly when the Dear Leader dealt a death blow to the economy with demonetisation, and of course they did. They sneered at the former PM, Dr Manmohan Singh, when he said demonetisation was a destructive move, they trolled every single leading economist in the world who trashed this lousy move, and they attacked us too, naturally. The only time they were silent was when over a hundred people died in queues. They perked up again when a callous corporate fat cat said that it really didn’t matter if some people died over demonetisation because it was so worth it, on a television show.

Even today, when it has finally been proved that demonetisation really was a disaster, many of them jump up like Jack-in-the-boxes to defend it. Just a few, a handful perhaps, sullenly mumble that demonetisation is over so why are we still talking about it? I’ll tell you why – because we’re going to feel its damaging effects for months and perhaps years to come! Sorry, however, is not a word the Dear Leader’s gullible supporters are familiar with. Oh, well, we can live with their refusal to admit mistakes and sneer at them instead. What makes their folly far sweeter is the undeniable fact that when it comes to governance, their Dear Leader has proved to be a bigger Pappu than the chap they call Pappu. Guess who’s having the last laugh now?

This story is from print issue of HardNews