Rajdeep Sardesai has suddenly become relevant on TV screens these days. And it’s not like the last time when he was caught assaulting people in New York. Rajdeep has become the go-to man, it seems, for the India Today group, to send out to get interviews from controversial individuals. It started with Rajdeep landing the “Global Exclusive” and eventually, the only interview of Lalit Modi. For this, Rajdeep had to be flown out to far-flung Montenegro on a very short notice.
Montenegro is over 5000 km (aerial distance) from India. A flight, booked on short notice, takes between 12-15 hours to reach there and costs Rs 70000 odd for an economy class round trip and a Rs 1.6 lac odd for a business class round trip. In the true spirit of journalism, Rajdeep travelled all this distance to get the interview of a man under investigation for economic offences, only because it involved some BJP leaders getting embarrassed. The distance is important, since as Twitter user @ pointed out, Rajdeep had often used the “tyranny of distance” excuse, when he did not cover certain other stories, like death of kids in a school and other news stories in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which are very much in our own country.]
every assam journalist wants to know why national channels dont cover more of the north east. My answer: its the ‘tyranny of distance’
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 10, 2009
terrible news from arunachal, 13 kids die in a fire in don bosco school hostel. tyranny of distance makes it tough to find out more. — Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 11, 2010
But it wasn’t over for Rajdeep. The said interview, which was promised to be aired at 9 pm, eventually reached our homes almost 90 minutes late. And even when it did, the end was chopped off. This led to multiple conspiracy theories that the interview could have been edited or snipped to make some Politicians look good.
Rajdeep did not take kindly to this and reprimanded his fellow journalists…
….Only to get it back, in kind
If its ‘cheap politics’ 2 highlight yr reluctance 2 press @LalitKModi on his charge of PC running a “private” foreign policy, I plead guilty
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) June 17, 2015
Next, Rajdeep, beaming with joy that he was the only one to get something from Lalit Modi, consulted his private “moral compass” and started pontificating on journalistic ethics. He was in all probability targetting Arnab Goswami, at whom he was taking potshots all week (and also getting it back from Arnab with equally sly comments of TV)
Final thought:when will journalists learn to gracefully accept if their colleague gets a big interview? Or is grace lost in mad competition?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 19, 2015
To which, he was reminded of his own “grapes are sour” moment by
@CrimeMasterV2, when Rajdeep reacted to Time Magazine getting the prized interview of Narendra Modi, which Rajdeep failed to get, in spite of trying several times.
Fine words by @narendramodi in his Time interview. Seems like a nice fireside chat with no cross questions/interruptions!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 7, 2015
On a side note, Rajdeep’s first tweet could have also served as a slap on out-of-work journalist Nikhil Wagle’s face, who is famous for cribbing about interviews by other journalists:
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) May 31, 2015
Rajdeep wasn’t done with Swapan Dasgupta though. This time, the two were arguing on Rajdeep’s interview with L K Advani. And once again, Rajdeep got his just desserts:
Yesterday witnessed joint endeavours to get Advani to say something he would later regret. Alas, all they got was a selfie & banality. ?
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) June 20, 2015
To this, Rajdeep replied that:
@swapan55 ha, ha! No, I don’t change my heroes easily. Ambedkar and Gandhi for me.
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 20, 2015
To which Rajdeep was again pointed to his own tweet by @, where he quoted none other than Rajdeep’s “hero” Ambedkar, and the quote itself was anti-hero-worship:
hero worship is demoralising for the devotee and dangerous for the nation: ambedkar. are his followers listening?
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 14, 2010
And as we come to changing heroes or villains, we have to mention Sagarika Ghose. Just like Rajdeep, Sagarika too paid her respects to the “respected Advaniji” as soon as Advani made, what seemed to be, an anti-Modi statement.
Such a delight meeting respected LK Advaniji and Pratibha this morn pic.twitter.com/lMCWj3g8UT
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) June 19, 2015
This was again, in stark contrast to Sagarika’s earlier stand, that demonized Advani:
Yet Advani created a gaping raw wound in Indian society–a wound that has still not healed
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) December 18, 2009
The husband-wife duo of Sagarika and Rajdeep, need to be reminded that whatever be the alignment of their “moral compass” at any point in time, Twitter never sleeps and never forgets.