Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani
Photo by ANI

On Wednesday, even as Indian users tried to figure out who was going to win the US Election, Raigad Police arrested Arnab Goswami for an abetment to suicide case from 2018.

This led to a flurry of angry tweets from cabinet ministers including I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, Law Minister RS Prasad and Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.

Smriti Irani wrote on Twitter: “Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him,you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next?”

This led to a reply from a journalist who said: "Arnab speaks if we are next, of course: to level false charges, to destroy reputations, to incite mob hatred and to shore up support for an increasingly authoritarian state to crush free expression. The least his regime supporters can do is refrain from tweeting like it's 2013."

This led to a reply from Irani who wrote: “Mam (sic) the fact that you can ‘troll’ a cabinet minister freely is an indication of how your freedom to express is upheld . As somebody who has been at the receiving end of fake news, body shamed , humiliated and has survived the assault , I don’t need life or political lessons.”

She added: “The fact that you call me a ‘regime supporter’ Mam is not indicative of you being a ‘journalist’. The fact that you call me names and there are no cops beating down your door is an indication of how your rights are protected.”

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