As far as I can recollect from my faint memory, I think it was sometime in the late 90s when I had first seen Rajdeep Sardesai in mainstream media. He was young, energetic & dynamic, which was a welcome change in Indian news media, since most of the newsreaders sounded like lullabies.
Over the next few years as he rose to prominence in NDTV and later went on to promote a new channel called CNN-IBN in mid 2000s, he had already become a household name & a celebrity.
Since news reading is usually one-way communication with some preparation and control of emotion, it is no different from film industry where actors play their assigned roles. But with the advent of 24×7 news media channels & social media, the character of most of the journalists have been out in the open and Rajdeep was one of the few journalists whose reputation took a nosedive due to his evident ideological bias even while reporting news, and his apparent hatred towards certain sections of the society & political parties, which affected his credibility even among his own admirers.
It is understandable if there are ideological biases at a personal level because everybody is human afterall. But expressing such bias even while reporting news and at the same time claiming oneself to be a neutral reporter, is a clear case of hypocrisy, depicts animosity, and is against journalism ethics.
His reputation as a bully is pretty well known & acknowledged in the media industry. Such is his intolerance level that he cannot even handle a simple criticism of anybody calling his channel “paid media”. Despite being a reputed journalist, he stoops down to the level of using foul language like F word.
When it comes to political reporting, his bias and animosity is very much evident in his news shows & interviews. For example, consider his hatred towards Narendra Modi. Despite Supreme Court of India exonerating Modi of all charges in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Rajdeep Sardesai invariably rakes up the same issue in almost every news or interview related to Modi. During election campaigns, while other journalists were spending their time interviewing politicians about their strategies, campaign details etc, Rajdeep was spending his entire time allocated for the interview raking up the same issue of 2002 riots (despite the Supreme Court exonerating Modi of all charges). It would come as a surprise to find that the number of times Rajdeep has raked up the issue of 2002 & visa, is more than the number of times Congress party has even mentioned it after the SIT report.
Here is a video excerpt from one such interview:
When a British MP wanted to invite Modi to UK for business conference, Rajdeep interviewed the British MP for a few mins and throughout the interview, was constantly reminding the British MP about the 2002 riots to which the British MP reminded Rajdeep that Modi was exonerated of all charges by Supreme Court. It was a matter of disgrace for us to witness a British slamming an Indian news reporter to respect his own Supreme Court!!
Here is the video excerpt:
Off the camera (especially in social media), he is much more bigoted and finds pleasure in provoking people through cheap gimmicks.
The following excerpt from a report shows how Rajdeep stooped down to an all time low and provoked film buffs over sensitive issues.
A few months ago, after Supreme Court exonerated Chidambaram of all charges, Rajdeep & CNN-IBN issued an apology for having called P Chidambaram a “tainted” minister in an earlier show.
But despite the same Supreme Court exonerating Modi of all charges related to 2002, Rajdeep, instead of apologizing, chose to continue his hate-mongering write-ups & tweets against Modi, disregarding the Supreme Court.
For example, here is a tweet from 2013.
The above two examples (of apologizing for defaming Chidambaram after Court exonerating him, and continuing to defame Modi despite Court exonerating him) clearly depicts Rajdeep’s pro-Congress & anti-Modi bias, which would have been acceptable if he was a Congress spokesperson, but calling himself a neutral journalist would be a mockery of journalism.
When it comes to his journalistic writings, it usually stinks of sycophancy, religious hatred & unnecessary communal provocations. Here is a piece written way back in 1993 on Dawood in which he desperately tries to instigate religious hatred by trying to paint entire religion with the same brush:
During the 2014 election campaign, when supporters started using acronyms like “Namo” for Narendra Modi & “Raga” for Rahul Gandhi, Rajdeep named his pet dog as “Nemo” and started tweeting provocatively comparing the Indian PM candidate to a dog.
Here is one such tweet which infuriated the social media and even his apolitical followers condemned it due to its bad taste:
His recent encounter with NRIs in US had not gone down well with Indians due to his constant provocation, calling them “classless” and physically assaulting them.
Even celebrities who were initially supporting him (due to false news) were dismayed by his attitude and behavior with NRIs and rebuked him after they found out the truth :
Here is a detailed report of the sequence of events which exposes his bias, arrogance, provocation, bullying & politics:
It was a blot on Indian journalism and was condemned even by media. Zee News had a special show on the same in which Rajdeep’s actions were analyzed and condemned by several media journalists:
When it comes to matters of secularism & conversions, he has his own pre-conceived notions. Even if a well respected director of a large company shares his own experience as evidence, Rajdeep will “agree to disagree” and pass his own judgement in favor of missionaries.
There have been many more instances in the past where Rajdeep had bullied other celebrities with foul language, provoked followers, exposed his bias by speaking on behalf of only certain political parties, constantly raking up irrelevant issues during interviews to divert attention and slammed by foreign dignitaries for his biased agendas etc, due to which most of the Indians love to hate Rajdeep Sardesai.
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