Is It Justified To Give ‘Y’ Security Cover To Arnab Goswami From Taxpayers’ Money, Who Can Afford It On His own?
October 18th, 2016
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[Update: Arnab Goswami has refuted the news that he was being provided Y-Category security cover from the Union government following threats from terror groups. You can read the full report here]
As per the report of Hindustan Times, Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of news channel Times Now, will be given Y category security, which means that 20 security guards and 2 personnel security officers will be with him round the clock after the Intelligence Bureau allegedly intercepted a message from Pakistan-based terror groups carrying threats against Mr Goswami.
Social Media Outburst
There is a debate going on social media with people voicing over the fact that the issue of security threat to Arnab Goswami has been exaggerated and it is futile to provide him security guards.
Tax Payers’ Money
Arnab Goswami, a journalist, known for his aggressive and dominating ways in the world of media, is an opinionated, argumentative, interrupting host. Let’s just ponder over the fact that how much it is legitimate to provide security cover to Goswami? 20 security guards will follow him day and night but who will be paying those guards? Who will be responsible for paying salaries to them?
Obviously, the government will pay the security guards from the taxes we pay, so indirectly the taxpayers’ money will be spent on the security of a journalist. At the same time, our country lacks resources when it comes to basic security so the security being provided to him could be put to better use in those sectors which are under stressed since the government funds seem to fall short.
Arnab Goswami is a renowned journalist then why isn’t he asked to pay from his own pocket. Being editor-in-chief of Times Now, he must be in a position to pay the amount. He can also hire private security guards, or he may urge his employer to provide him with a security 24*7. If he couldn’t have afforded the security, then govt. should provide security.
Those Who Needed Security Were Not Provided
Looking back at the Vyapam Scam, the whistleblowers Anand Rai and Ashish Chaturvedi were asked to pay for security from their own pockets. Anand Rai, an Indore-based doctor, filed a PIL to investigate in the scam. He asked the court to provide him security since he was receiving regular threat calls. He was asked to pay Rs 50,000 per month for security while his monthly income was Rs 38,000. Ashish Chaturvedi, the other whistleblower, was asked by police to pay Rs 50,000 or remain confined in his home. This happened with them the threat was real and 25 people who were related to Vyapam Scam were killed.
An observation made by Scroll is important to highlight:
“In almost all the other 22 instances of journalists who were killed since 2010, there was fair warning. The threat perception was very, very real. FIRs were lodged naming the persons they feared would attack them. Convictions, with one exception (where an appeal is pending), are nil.
And yet, they had zero security.”
While another journalist like Sudhir Chaudhary from Zee News was provided X security, Samachar Plus’s Umesh Kumar was provided Y-category, and Ashwini Kumar Gupta was provided Z-plus category by the government. Why the special treatment for them, should the government spend taxpayers’ money on anyone who can afford his own security?