Appearing on a debate on political violence in West Bengal and the face-off between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Home ministry on the English news channel CNN News18, political analyst Garga Chatterjee decided to speak in Bengali after the other guests and the anchor spoke in Hindi.
“You should not have a guilty conscience,” Chatterjee told the Shreya Dhoundhial when she asked him to switch to English if that made him more comfortable. He had started off his answer in Bengali after Dhoundhial asked him a question in Hindi.
According to Chatterjee, other panelists were not interrupted for speaking in their mother tongues, but he was. Dhoundhial defended herself by saying that the particular show was a Hindi one. Commenting on Chatterjee’s stand, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Neha Joshi, who was also one of the panelists on the debate, said, “He has nothing to say. He knows that his chief minister and his party are guilty of what is happening in Bengal right now.”
You can watch the full episode of the show here:
A situation similar to Dhoundhial’s show took place in 2014 during a debate on NDTV news channel. Hindi writer Chitra Mudgal, appearing on a show in English, refused to speak in English despite multiple requests by former anchor Vikram Chandra. In response, Tamil journalist Gnani Sankaran, who died in 2018, started speaking in Tamil to drive his point home.