Will BMC do a Rajdeep Sardesai and sue an RJ for a joke?

RJ Malishka of Red FM radio channel is facing heat from Shiv Sena, which controls the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai, better known as the BMC, after she created a parody song targeting the corporation for the potholes on road and other civic issues that people generally face in Mumbai.

After the song went viral, BMC sent a notice to RJ Malishka’s mother because they (RJ and her mother) were allegedly breeding dengue mosquitoes in their flat at Bandra. Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna too reportedly published an article targeting her over dengue.

Now if this was not enough, youth wing of Shiv Sena and some corporators of BMC are urging the corporation to sue her. They are suggesting a defamation suit seeking 500 crore rupees in damages, if some media reports are to be believed.

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If BMC indeed files a defamation suit against RJ Malishka, this will sadly not be the first time an RJ in Mumbai will be sued for saying something in jest or in a sarcastic way.

Two years ago, controversial television journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had sued FM radio channel Radio City and two of its RJs, seeking 100 crore rupees in damages.

All that the RJs Archana and Salil had done was to jokingly say on air that former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was desperate to do anything to remain in news, and that he had sent a private jet for Rajdeep Sardesai so that his interview could run on a TV channel (and he may remain in news).

This was at a time when Rajdeep Sardesai had flown to Montenegro in Europe to interview Lalit Modi within a day of Modi’s tweet informing the same – an act that came under criticism as Rajdeep had earlier talked about “tyranny of distance” when asked why riots or news from North Eastern Indian states were not covered.

The entire sentence by the RJs – obviously made in jest – didn’t last even six seconds in a segment that ran for various minutes, where the RJs went on to talk about many other things while laughing and cracking jokes.

But this offended Rajdeep Sardesai so much that he and TV Today, the media organisation he had joined after leaving Network-18, decided to sue the channel and the RJs. This resulted in Radio City terming Rajdeep Sardesai a “hyper sensitive” guy with “cushioned ego” in their response to the legal suit.

In fact, Radio City even demanded proof of Rajdeep’s reputation, which was supposedly damaged to the extent of 100 crore rupees due to the six-second-long joke by two RJs.

So if the BMC decides to sue RJ Malishka and Red FM, maybe they can roast the BMC again through their response, just like Radio City had roasted Rajdeep Sardesai. Rajdeep being roasted didn’t make headlines as he is part of the crony media establishment, but BMC being roasted will surely make headlines.

Now it remains to be seen if better sense prevails over the BMC or they act pugnacious like Rajdeep.


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