Rajdeep Sardesai’s personal views for Modi are no more a secret. From remote villages in Bihar to posh corridors of Madison Square, Rajdeep — as a preacher, as a boxer, as a saint, as an anchor — has left no stone unturned to express his visceral hatred for Modi. India, as a democracy, has always tried to protect personal beliefs and opinions of individuals. After 2014, it was feared that Modi government will strangulate freedom of expression, but ironically, the attacks on Modi didn’t attenuate, rather they grew manifold.
However, Rajdeep is much more than an individual opinion holder; he is an opinion maker. He heads and has headed top-positions of media houses which act as eyes and ears of the nation. With such pivotal accountability, one is expected to act prudent and responsible. Sadly, Rajdeep differs to maintain that, again and again.
As expected, Rajdeep has been very critical of the demonetisation scheme from the first day. By the time Modi finished his speech, Rajdeep tweeted his scepticism:
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 8, 2016
Since then, his concerns and criticisms have remained intact in various forms. From subjugation of lower classes to sufferings of patient undergoing medical emergency, his tweets have covered a wide spectrum of narratives.
Yday, met aam admis in queue: most looked harassed; today, met netas in Parliament: all smiling! Yeh hai India!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 16, 2016
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 15, 2016
A recent article published in Navhind Times, a Goan daily, claims that Sardesai pointed out that sixty per cent of the country’ population has been troubled by demonetisation. Sardesai also added that few media houses are providing biased news on it.
Interestingly, on-the-field reactions to Rajdeep’s queries are substantially different from tweets published by Rajdeep. The following video demonstrates how Rajdeep was trolled when he tried to nudge people on the “inconvenience” factor. Contrary to the views published in the Navhind Times, Rajdeep was contradicted by all his interviewees, who expressed that they are willing to take the inconvenience.
— Tajinder Pal S Bagga (@TajinderBagga) November 17, 2016
If these were the responses received by Rajdeep, he should answer how did he arrive at the 60 per cent figure.
If these were the responses received by Rajdeep, he must answer where is the objectivity gone from his journalism.
If these were the responses received by Rajdeep, he must answer why is he mixing facts with prejudices.
It is also odd to note that Rajdeep chose to refer to a news report in an unknown Gujarati publication in April 2016, which, as he claimed, knew about the move of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes eight months before the announcement. It is odd because, India Today, the same organisation where Rajdeep works, had debunked this here. They revealed that the “news” was published on 1st April 2016, also known as April Fool’s day, and the editor of the daily, Kirit Gantara himself confirmed that it was a prank, adding that “It is just a coincidence that the Modi government took such a decision. It’s a sheer coincidence.”
The Press Council of India states that the fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, views, comments and information on matters of public interest in a fair, accurate, unbiased, sober and decent manner.
In fact, Rajdeep knows the answer, he always knew it.
Journalists/pollsters get election results wrong when they allow personal prejudice to cloud professional judgements. #electionnight
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 9, 2016