Celebrity journalist Arnab Goswami who is about to launch his news channel ‘Republic’ has been making news for some or the other reasons. First, the funding of his channel came under the scanner, then his over-the-top trailers made new. Recently, promotional posters and banners proclaiming him as the ‘migraine of Pakistan’ went viral and became the butt of many jokes on social media.

Goswami, who revolutionised the way primetime news is presented with his unconventional and high-pitched debating  style on News Hour left Times Now allegedly now has been accused of ‘rigging’ his debates. Emmy-nominated Pakistani journalist Wajahat S Khan in a Facebook post accused the anchor of pre-deciding what debaters would say. He writes: “He actually called me to pitch positions on a show we were going to do together (he suggested ‘Wajahat, you will say X, and I will say Y…). By the way, I didn’t want to say X. X was a stupid thing to say from a Pakistani perspective. Meanwhile, Y was a more sensible position. But he wanted to say Y, and reserve that rational sensibility for strictly an Indian perspective”

Khan got on-board as a co-debater on News Hour during his stint as a journalist in India. He describes Goswami to be  “a sensible, affable, switched on chap in person” who became a “a different animal” on television. He said initially he got along with him and found him but when forced to take a rather stupid position on an India-Pakistan issue before the debate began, he parted ways with the anchor.  “On TV, Arnab Goswami was a different animal. He was venomous. He was not fair or balanced. And he rigged debates,” he writes.

Khan also credits Goswami for being the most popular journalist in India.

Read more: ‘Pakistan’s migraine’ says tone deaf Arnab Goswami hoarding, ‘India’s nausea’ says Twitter

Referring to his “Pakistan’s migraine” poster, Khan asks a few questions on his anti-Pakistan stance could end up affecting India and it’s perspective. He writes:

“Should an otherwise sensible, affable man put on a jingoistic, even pathologically hyper-nationalist persona just to get great TV-ratings?

Should a rational man act – actually put on a show – of a crazed ‘sevak’ just because it will sell to India’s teeming masses?

Won’t that have an affect on India’s great national conversation? Her likes and dislikes? Her dinner table and drawing room and mess hall and dhaba debates? Her voting patterns and politics?”

We contacted Arnab Goswami for his comments on the allegations. He hasn’t responded yet.

Read the full post here: 

I worked with this man when I was on assignment in India. We got along. He was a sensible, affable, switched on chap in person.

But on TV, Arnab Goswami was a different animal. He was venomous. He was not fair or balanced. And he rigged debates.

Our last conversation was when he actually called me to pitch positions on a show we were going to do together (he suggested ‘Wajahat, you will say X, and I will say Y…).

By the way, I didn’t want to say X.

X was a stupid thing to say from a Pakistani perspective. Meanwhile, Y was a more sensible position. But he wanted to say Y, and reserve that rational sensibility for strictly an Indian perspective.

He wanted to push the us versus them narrative: That the Indian perspective was rather sane, and the Pakistani perspective was, actually, quite mad.

That ended our relationship, as well as my status as a once in a while co-debater on his show.

Now, after his own ups and downs in the Indian industry, Arnab seems to be back. Or so this poster would tell us.

But this poster begs another debate.

Should an otherwise sensible, affable man put on a jingoistic, even pathologically hyper-nationalist persona just to get great TV-ratings?

Should a rational man act – actually put on a show – of a crazed ‘sevak’ just because it will sell to India’s teeming masses?

Won’t that have an affect on India’s great national conversation? Her likes and dislikes? Her dinner table and drawing room and mess hall and dhaba debates? Her voting patterns and politics?

Forget Pakistan, or Pakistanis. Let’s assume they don’t matter, for the sake of this argument.

But Goswami matters. As possibly the most popular journalist in India, is Goswami’s Pakistan-basher behaviour and virulently anti-Pakistan persona fair to the millions in India who watch him and believe him, considering it’s an act?

Is that fair to his profession?

Is that fair for South Asian peace?

I’m not quite sure.

Read more: Why no one can take away ‘Nation wants to know’ from Arnab Goswami