28 February, 2016


Dear Aranab,
Undoubtedly you are a remarkable man. You speak impeccable English, with gusto and energy. You dress immaculately and look handsome. You are sharp, and also usually do your homework well. You could be one of India’s finest anchors if - alas, if - you did that: anchoring.
But anchoring is but all you do. You choose “experts” carefully to provide a semblance of balance. After inviting your guests, to your show, you lecture them, debate with them, shout at them and issue them character certificates.
You insult your guests with your arrogance, with impunity. Typically, you would deliver a long lecture, put words into the mouth of the cornered panelist and without allowing him to clarify, move on to another. Yes, you already have other accommodating panelists to oblige you in your show of strength. Where is a debate?
You may be the boss of the show but you are not an anchor, an impartial facilitator of a public debate, a fair seeker of truth. Truth to you is what you deliver.
Who would normally decline an invite from India’s leading English news channel? But increasingly self-respecting commentators choose to stay away from you. An innocuous person like me politely and respectfully declined six invites from TN in the last two months.
#Ishrat Jahan Encounter Case
Using #David Hadley’s “disclosures” you unabashedly assassinated Ishrat's character. For a moment you did not pause to ask where she got AK47 from, whether her past showed any serious deviations from an average Mumbai girls’ character, was she engaged in firing at the police. Why was she murdered in cold blood?
Immediately after that fake encounter, on an invite by Rajdeep Sardesai [@sardesairajdeep] on Big Fight, I had debated with Arun Jaitley and the encounter cop, Vanzara. Vanzara admitted that they shot her and her “accomplices” dead inside their car, and then searched it, and [yes, typically] found a diary in Urdu with these disclosures. He was cornered into admitting that they had no proof of her alleged terrorism before. That a police officer of Gujarat himself confessed to receiving the guns from Rajinder Kumar of IB, to plant near the encountered victims, was conveniently overlooked by you and your pliant panelists.
With your partisan anchoring you murdered this slain lady repeatedly with your unforgivable accusations that she cannot wake up to defend. Your endorsement of a blatantly sexist and extremely disturbing comment by the so-called former intelligence officers [who while in service chose to lie quiet] disrobed this victim of a fake encounter of her rightful dignity. “She, a young Muslim lady, moved about and lived with other men” they said with your approval. So, what? ‘Bad character’, you implied. So, what? Potentially a terrorist. Unconvincing. But, even so, was it ok to kill her in a fake encounter, that Magistrate Tamang so convincingly establishes [http://bit.ly/1T3wirj]?
But you wouldn’t let the likes of Judge Tamang, IGP Satish Verma, and myriad others in the know speak. Can you disown your own Group’s Times of India? Here is what it reported on 4th July 2013.
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"A day before the encounter, two police inspectors had tried to reason with DG Vanzara who was then the deputy commissioner of police, crime branch. The two police inspectors DH Goswami and KM Vaghela have told the CBI that on June 14, 2004, they had tried to convince Vanzara to release Ishrat because she was not directly connected with terrorism and had also warned him that it would be a mistake to kill the girl." ...
"The second in line for notoriety among colleagues is the then joint director of central IB, Rajinder Kumar. Nine Gujarat police officials are quoted as speaking out against him in the chargesheet. The junior policemen have blamed Kumar as "the architect of the encounter". "...
"The cops have claimed that the weapons planted on Ishrat and the three other alleged terrorists - one AK 47 and two 9 mm pistols - were supplied by Kumar and also that he was the one to take the final decision to kill them all in the encounter. [http://bit.ly/1T3vMJS]"
------ Quote ends --------
You know – as well as I do – that this was a planned operation of IB. Pillai may well have been a mole. Agencies the world over do such things. Probably have to. But to kill innocents in cold blood and blaming it on Muslims out to kill Modi was something that went way beyond security needs. It was an outright political conspiracy. It was fascism. Your style of conducting affairs, that is.
Again, you know why David Hadley is being used. To exonerate D G Vanzara who threatened from the jail to reveal it all. And to absolve Amit Shah. Participate with them, if you wish, but pray leave the hapless Muslims alone.
Do I shy from you? On the contrary. I respectfully challenge you to a debate on #Ishrat Jahan case. Come, debate with me, young man. On #IndiaToday TV or on @NDTV or even #CNN-IBN. Come out of the protective shield of your studio where the mike button is in your control and where the panelists are chosen by you. That is NOT a debate, Your Honour. That is a decree, verdict and judgement in your court room.
Sadly, for you, some of us do not recognize your jurisdiction. And increasingly our number is rising.

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