Union Ministers back Arnab Goswami, call arrest has “shades of Emergency”

The arrest of right wing journalist and Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police on Wednesday triggered sharp reaction from Union Ministers.

Several of them mentioned the Emergency days to draw a parallel.

Goswami has been arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer, Anvay Naik, and his mother, in 2018

Naik had reportedly named Arnab Goswami in a suicide note and alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV.

“We condemn the attack on press freedom in Maharashtra. This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this,” Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar condemned the incident.

Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said: “Shades of the Emergency!
The arrest of Arnab Goswami is an attack on the freedom of press. Those who really believe in this freedom must speak up!.”

Former I&B Minister and current Textiles Minister Smriti Irani tweeted: “Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism”.

She added: “You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next?”

Senior BJP leader and Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, and Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal also supported Goswami and condemned the detention.

“Strongly condemn this attack on freedom of press in Maharashtra. This fascist move is a sign of undeclared emergency. Assaulting journalist Arnab Goswami is an example of misuse of power. We must all stand up against this attack on India’s democracy,” he said.