In a bizarre remark, Times Now anchor Rahul Shivshankar, during a debate on actor Sushant Singh Rajput, told political analyst Sumanth Raman to "not waste the nation's and the viewers' time" when the analyst tried to draw attention to country's economy and the recent flare up between the Indian and the Chinese army in Ladakh.
On August 31, Raman said that he wanted to place his "deep disgust" for the debate since it was neglecting crucial issues for the country, such as the record 23.9% shrinkage in the GDP in the April-June quarter.
Shivshankar cut off Raman, saying that he would entertain comments on the GDP only during a debate on the economy, for which, "Raman would certainly won't be invited".
Shivshankar also said that the analyst is a "jack of all trades, master of none".
"I'm quite sure you don't know GDP," Shivshankar said during the debate.
A clip of the debate went viral on social media, triggering massive outrage.
"Don't waste the nation's time," says Rahul Shivshankar with a straight face, to a panelist who wanted to discuss the collapse of the economy. "Don't waste my time."— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) September 1, 2020
Welcome to September 2020.— Meghnad 🔗 (@Memeghnad) September 1, 2020
We now live in a world where an anchor on a TV News channel can confidently say that talking about the economy and a raging pandemic is a "waste of the nation's time".
Enjoy this satire playing out in real life.
Read how @TimesNow & @RShivshankar get all puffed up at the mention of the Economy & GDP.— Rahul Mukherji (@RahulMukherji5) September 1, 2020
New Indian lexicon:
GDP/China/Corona : Diversion
This was yesterday's low.
Let's see what unfolds today. https://t.co/d1nKD9BRyK
Thank God someone cares about the economy more than the SSR case 👇 https://t.co/9wzCYGATlq— Farah Khan (@FarahKhanAli) August 31, 2020
In another debate on the same channel, anchor Navika Kumar shut down a panelist for talking about GDP.
When Navika asked a question about actress Rhea Chakrabortys' lies, the panelist said that 'lies do catch up', hinting at the government's false promises and the country's poor economy.
To which the anchor replied that she hasn't forced him to be on the show. "When we're talking about why Rhea lied, why is the GDP stuck in your mind?" she said.
On August 31, India reported the worst quarterly contraction on record, with 23.9 per cent fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the April-June quarter (Q1), as per estimates released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). The country has officially entered a phase of recession as per the data.