New Delhi: Four airlines, including Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir grounded comedian Kunal Kamra on Wednesday under government directions, after his video questioning senior journalist Arnab Goswami went viral across social media platforms.
However, the centre’s action on grounding the comedian did not go too well with Twitterati.
“Offensive behaviour designed to provoke & create disturbance inside an aircraft is absolutely unacceptable and endangers safety of air travellers. We are left with no option but to advise other airlines to impose similar restrictions on the person concerned,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted earlier in the day.
Subsequently, the airlines showed their compliance one by one in a chain reaction. IndiGo grounded Kamra for a period of six months, while Air India has banned him until further notice.
The chain action of airlines ban was seen by many Twitter users and followers of the comedian as a ‘hypocritic’ decision, triggering a raging debate online.
Some users even went on to ask why no such action was taken in case of BJP MLA Pragya Thakur, who had recently caused a 45-minute delay on a Delhi-Bhopal flight after refusing to change seat with a fellow passenger.
“Why is Ms Pragya Thakur not being put on a no-fly list for having endangered flight safety by insisting on a seat that she was not entitled to as she was in a wheelchair. Plus, she caused delay of the flight. Let’s see if Mr Puri and DGCA take action where it is really needed,” wrote one Twitter user.
“So @republic did the same thing what @kunalkamra88 did with Arnab. But only punishment to Kunal. #hypocrisy
#ArnabGoswami #kunalkamra,” wrote another person on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Tejaswi Yadav added to one such tweet saying, “Dear Journalist, It’s easy to abuse politicians but difficult to live their life. We don’t hv any privacy anywhere but u hv. We are into a great thankless job of serving people & u r in bootlicking job of pleasing ur paymasters. Who’s brat of Whom country knows it inside out? ”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted in support of Kamra. Taking a dig at Arnab Goswami, he wrote: “The truth is that it was time someone gave him a taste of his own medicine. These are the words he regularly uses to berate his innocent victims, except he does so in a hectoring, bullying manner & at higher volume & pitch than @kunalkamra88 does in this video.”
The controversy blared up after Kunal Kamra allegedly heckled Goswami, the editor of Republic TV, on IndiGo’s Mumbai-Lucknow (6E5317) flight on Tuesday. “Viewers today want to know if Arnab is a coward or a nationalist. Arnab, this is for national interest. I am part of the tukde-tukde narrative. You should deflate me. You should take the enemy of the states down. You should make sure that the country is in safe hands of Narendra Modi. You should fight against dynasts like Rahul Gandhi, who I support, on 10 Tughlaq Lane. Arnab, you should have a reply, Arnab. Arnab, are you a coward or are you a journalist? Are you a coward or are you a journalist or a nationalist? Who are you, Arnab,” he could be heard saying in the video clip.
However, Goswami chose to remain quiet and did not answer back.