With the meat debate raging through the country, and TV news channels following the story of the crackdown on ‘illegal’ meat-sellers closely, tempers are running high. And on CNN-News18 on Wednesday evening, a debate show snowballed into a high-decibel shouting match between the anchor and a guest on the show, with the latter walking out.
During the primetime debate being hosted by Zakka Jacob, the panel, which included members of Hindu right-wing organizations like VHP and ‘Hum Hindu’, political parties BJP and Congress, the issue of state’s high-handedness was being discussed. Referring to an incident of the police shutting down a business for allegedly selling beef, while the business-owner maintained he was only selling chicken, Jacob asked why a food inspector was not sent first to check. “Is this a banana republic?” he fumed, repeatedly.
He then turned to VHP’s Vijay Shankar Tiwari, who starts by saying, “See, no thief calls himself a thief and accepts it. So even you cannot decide what the truth is. Let the investigation happen.”
Jacob is now seen smirking, and says, “So even before the investigation you have decided he is guilty?”
To which Ajay Gautam of Hum Hindu interrupts, “He is a suspect.”
Jacob now raises his voice to state that the law says that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
And then, the VHP spokesperson Tiwari points to him and tells him threateningly, “Hindi mein baat kariye.” (“Speak in Hindi.”)
We cannot say for certain if this is what got Jacob’s goat, but at this point, he raises his voice further, and says, “Arey Bhai saab, bhai saab. You are not guilty until you are proven guilty. Don’t teach me law. Don’t teach me the law. You don’t know the law don’t teach me the law.”
Now, Tiwari loses his cool and says, “What nonsense, what nonsense!”, and walks out the show.
But the battle wasn’t over just yet. “Yeah get out. Get out of my show!” Jacob now shouts at the top of his voice. “I don’t want people who do not know the law,” he screams at the camera.
The video is since going viral online.