Rajdeep Sardesai, celebrity TV journalist currently with India Today, had a meltdown on live television while interviewing actor Vivek Oberoi about his upcoming biopic based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life. At one point, Sardesai actually asked Vivek to “cross his heart” and tell him whether he got money from any political party to make this movie.
In the same interview, while Rajdeep had his meltdown over the biopic of the PM, he alluded to other movies like upcoming The Tashkent Files directed by Vivek Agnihotri and Anupam Kher starrer The Accidental Prime Minister that released earlier this year.
I don’t need to make @narendramodi look like a hero. He is a hero, says @vivekoberoi
Watch #Countdown with @sardesairajdeep |#LokSabhaElections2019
LIVE: https://t.co/4fqxBVUizL pic.twitter.com/E61bPJU9aa
— India Today (@IndiaToday) April 2, 2019
In this particular part of the interview, Rajdeep Sardesai tells Vivek Oberoi that he is stuck between a tug-of-war between political parties because the timing of his movie is suspect, considering other movies like The Tashkent Files is about to be released that ‘raises questions on the Congress leadership’.
Vivek Agnihotri, the Director of the movie The Tashkent Files which is based on the mysterious death of India’s dynamic leader Lal Bahadur Shastri, took to Twitter to respond to this segment by Rajdeep Sardesai and his charge that The Tashkent Files ‘raises questions on the Congress leadership”.
Someone sent me the attached clip from Rajdeep Sardesai’s show.
Since Rajdeep Sardesai has blocked me, I have not other way to communicate to him.
Can someone send my note to him.
I am sure he will be fair. https://t.co/iGf3jfQRG5 pic.twitter.com/ESHgwNDE7t
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) April 3, 2019
He took to Twitter to say that since Rajdeep Sardesai has blocked him, he has no other way of communicating to him other than tweeting a note.
In the note, responding to Rajdeep’s charge that the movie ‘raises questions on the Congress leadership’, he asked how Rajdeep would know that the movie implicates the Congress party considering he has not watched the movie.
Vivek Agnihotri asked Rajdeep that since he hasn’t watched the movie and is already spreading canards about it, can it not be assumed that he is spreading propaganda against The Tashkent Files because he is “politically prejudiced” against him.
He then asked Rajdeep that since he had proclaimed that the movie implicates the Congress leadership without even watching the movie, is he admitting that the Congress party was indeed involved in the mysterious death of Lal Bahadur Shastri?
Talking to OpIndia on this matter, Vivek rued that Rajdeep was passing verdicts without possibly even seeing the trailer of the movie.
“It is a clear case of prejudging a movie and being prejudiced. Since Rajdeep is a leading journalist of India, he should be fair. The Tashkent Files is a story where all possibilities around the death of Shastriji is being explored. One of the characters actually strongly rejects any conspiracy or murder angle. This is evident in the movie trailer itself,” he said.
“Ironically, this is what a journalist should be doing – exploring all possibilities, and not declaring a verdict that a movie is propaganda,” Vivek added.
He further added that if Rajdeep indeed wanted to link movies and elections, he should actually talk about movies that portrayed the army in a negative light, especially in Kashmir.
“Congress has promised to dilute AFSPA in its manifesto, they have almost accused the Indian Army of being rapists. Earlier as a member of the censor board, you know the story on how I asked a filmmaker for credible proofs when he also wanted to show Indian Army indulging in atrocities. I wonder if Rajdeep will ever call such movies propaganda,” Vivek said.
This in not for the first time Rajdeep has been caught off guard. Only recently, Rajdeep twisted Prime Minister Modi’s statement about Rahul Gandhi fighting from Hindu-minority Wayanad and since it has been pointed out, has offered no explanation for his malicious reporting. Earlier, he had muddled up the meaning of ‘benami property’ in order to exonerate the Gandhi son-in-law Robert Vadra.