BJP critic Kunal Kamra receives flying ban for heckling unruly anchor Arnab Goswami

Kamra, a left-wing comedian and staunch critic of Arnab Goswami and BJP, shared a video of him heckling Goswami on his Twitter account. Soon after the incident, IndiGo banned Kunal Kamra from flying, a ban now nearly replicated by all the major airlines including Air India and Spice Jet. Perhaps Arnab Goswami, a savage and belligerent host to his opponents got a taste of his own medicine when Kunal Kamra fiercely confronted him.

Kunal Kamra

Three Indian airlines have temporarily banned comedian, Kunal Kamra, from flying after he heckled ‘nationalist’ anchorperson Arnab Goswami during the IndiGo’s Mumbai-Lucknow on Tuesday.

Kamra, a left-wing comedian and staunch critic of Arnab Goswami, shared a video of heckling him on his Twitter account. Soon after the incident, IndiGo banned Kunal Kamra from flying, a ban now nearly replicated by all the major airlines including Air India and Spice Jet.

What happened?

Unrepentant Kunal Kamra, a critic of the ruling administration of BJP, admitted that he was not ‘polite’ to the Republic TV anchorperson in the video but he had to do it out of his love for late Ph.D. professor Rohith Vemula. Adding that, he would not have been at peace had he missed an opportunity to take to cleaners the unruly Arnab Goswami.

Kamra admitted that his emotions got better of him but he was triggered by the insensitive coverage of Rohith Vemula by Arnab Goswami on his shows on his suicide between 2016 and 2017.
Kamra, in his interview with The Independent, said he decided to impersonate and behave like Arnab Goswami as soon as he saw him.

Perhaps Arnab Goswami, a savage and belligerent host to his opponents got a taste of his own medicine when Kunal Kamra fiercely confronted him. In a widely shared video, Kunal Kamra asks, “Arnab, are you a coward, a journalist, or a nationalist?” He adds that “the viewers want to know” – co-opting Goswami’s catchphrase, “the nation wants to know”.

Read more: Pakistan can be defeated within 7-10 days: Modi

Following the episode, government’s civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said he was “left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned”.

“Offensive behavior designed to provoke and create disturbance inside an aircraft is unacceptable and endangers the safety of air travelers,” he said.

Kunal Kamra’s rebuttal

Unfazed with the flying ban for a maximum of six months, Kunal Kamra continued disparaging PM Modi and his administration. In a sarcastic tweet, he asked Narendra Modi if he can walk or is there a ban on that too.

He then released an 11-minute video of Arnab Goswami harassing and dissing people with his camera and in his talk show. He captioned the video, “The emotions did, of course, get the better of me (referring to the Arnab Goswami episode), but if I didn’t emote, I’d never been able to forgive myself.”

The video was a compilation of the Arnab Goswami’s obnoxious incidents of harassing people. It showed an incident of Arnab Goswami heckling RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on a flight, despite repeated requests from the cabin crew to stop. He even publicly jeered Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in a restaurant when he was having lunch.

The video also showed Republic TV anchor, also dubbed the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a scholar at the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide after on-campus discrimination, ‘a persona tragedy’ and accused that his death was used for political motives.

“I apologize in advance if this video comes across as an extension of my savior complex. All I want to do is express my solidarity and love for my hero Rohith Vemula,” Kunal Kamra wrote at the end of the video. Meanwhile, in a series of tweets he said, he is baffled with the fly ban on him since he did not threaten the danger and safety of other passengers.

Adding that, “It”s not shocking at all to me that for exercising my right to speech, which falls under Article 19 of our constitution, 3 airlines have given me a temporary ban from flying. The fact of the matter is that at no point was I disruptive and at no point did I not follow the orders of the cabin crew or the captain”. He said he has traveled on Spice Jet and Air India before but there has been no complaint regarding his behavior.

Social media backlash

A temporary flying ban on Kunal Kamra generated a colossal reaction on Indian Twitter. The prominent Indian thinkers admonished PM Modi for a severe crackdown on the dissent.
They approved Kunal Kamra’s ruthless takedown of Arnab Goswami in the wake of Goswami’s hostile attitude towards guests. A whopping number of Indian social media users are in disregard of his journalistic practices.

Read more: ‘Every Pakistani is a proud ISI agent’, Hamza Ali Abbasi to Arnab Goswami

Arnab Goswami- a notorious Indian anchorperson and owner of Republic TV is known for his diatribe against Pakistan. Goswami often vilifies his panelists for not sharing his views. From not only Pakistan, but Goswami has also received criticism from Indians for his hyper-nationalistic and over-aggressive attitude that often derides guests holding distinct views on issues.

Many instances have been cited where guests preferred to walked out of the show after Goswami berated them for presenting opposing views. Observers have raised questions multiples times on his journalistic skills. His disillusioned followers assert Goswami violates the core journalistic skills when he hosts shows on sensitive issues.

blank