Propagandist-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai appears to have greatly unpopular even among his cultivated fan base lately. After a clip of his interview with AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi went viral on social media, he was trolled by Islamists and others for apparently toeing the government line. In the clip that went viral, the leader from Hyderabad was having a meltdown on live TV a day before the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan on the 5th of August.
The clip carried Asaduddin Owaisi’s answer to a question Rajdeep Sardesai asked during the interview but conveniently did not include the question itself. The question was regarding whether it was time for both Hindus and Muslims to look ahead into the future “rather than live by the antagonism of the past” and for the two communities to find a new compact.
Asaduddin Owaisi, however, twisted the question out of context and took it to mean that he was being asked by Rajdeep Sardesai to ‘move on’. Then, the Muslim leader had a terrible meltdown and asked whether the country should move on from the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the 1984 Sikh Genocide by the Congress party and the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.
Move on, said Rajdeep. And the answer of @asadowaisi is masterly. This answer would be the answer of most Indian Muslims, Owaisi followers or not. Sharing in two tweets. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/2Ji4MLAqK4— Sabina Basha (@SabinaBasha) August 9, 2020
“Rajdeep, where do you want me to move on? I am in abyss,” Asaduddin Owaisi thundered. He also slammed the ‘secular parties’ for their apparent silence on the whole matter and during the interview, he also called out liberals like Rajdeep Sardesai for apparently not doing enough to prevent the domination of the Hindutva ideology.
After the clip went viral, users on social media condemned Rajdeep Sardesai and the majority community of India for being ‘majoritarian supremacist’. The India Today anchor was also condemned for asking Asaduddin Owaisi to speak out on the Islamic regimes of Saudi Arabia and Iran, to which the latter took great objection to on account of him being an Indian Muslim.
Responding to these remarks, Rajdeep Sardesai conceded that the question regarding Islamic countries was framed poorly but maintained that the Hyderabad leader is responsible for his party’s minority politics. “We must reject majoritarianism and minorityism,” he said. However, Islamists and the secular-liberal camp did not take kindly to his words.
Rajdeep Sardesai was slammed for his line of questioning as well as his comment regarding minorityism. Alleged health journalist Vidya Krishnan accused him of ‘bullying’ Owaisi to feel good about his journalism and claimed that his journalism only holds Muslims accountable. She also said that it was ‘incredible’ that he refused to apologise.
Incredible that he refuses to apologise.— Vidya (@VidyaKrishnan) August 11, 2020
Neither RS nor anyone else at his 'news' channel has punched above their weight &held anyone from BJP accountable. But sure, get on air, bully minority leaders & feel good about your journalism, that only holds Muslims accountable. https://t.co/Tqp01JqFqt
Another individual used the comments made by the India Today anchor to claim that ‘Liberals are ass of Sanghis’. We are not quite sure what that means.
Liberals are ass of sanghis— سیّد فیضانِ | Syed Faizan (@khajaf) August 11, 2020
Yet another individual commented that Rajdeep Sardesai has ‘absolute dung’ for brains.
Absolute dung for brains.. what the hell is minorityism? You pathetic hack.. https://t.co/RhrxB3KwZD— Bruh wut (@fawsomek1408) August 11, 2020
Rajdeep Sardesai was also accused of being a ‘pimp’ of the government.
Gandhi said – The last in the line has to be taken care of the most.— Shahzeb Ahmad (@badtameez_dil) August 11, 2020
And here is a pimp of the government telling that being the voice of the oppressed is to be rejected.
Can he disclose where the funds of the entertainment channel he works, comes from. https://t.co/YoMhzlq1ss
Others appeared to be have a meltdown at par with Owaisi and claimed that India is being ruled by a mass murderer and Uttar Pradesh is ruled by an ‘extremist monk’.
Muslims are lynched openly on streets with impunity. Kashmir has been made living hell. A mass murderer is ruling India. The largest province of India is ruled by extremist monk whose life long political service has been majoritarian hate mongering.— Aamir Azhar | عامر اظہر (@CatchAamir) August 11, 2020
What minorityism? https://t.co/AokpsQMVvQ
Rajdeep Sardesai was also told that he should not ‘target’ parties such as AIMIM and Akalis and instead, he should focus his attention on BJP, Shiv Sena and the RSS which play ‘majoritarian politics’.
Bro, ask for banning of RSS, BJP, SS and other majoritarian parties in India first. Including "secular" parties which play majoritarian politics. Why target minority parties like AIMIM & Akalis? https://t.co/iCbuyFTob4— Sabina Basha (@SabinaBasha) August 11, 2020
A lot of the responses indicate that people were of the opinion that such a thing called ‘minorityism’ does not exist. While we cannot be certain what precisely Rajdeep Sardesai possibly meant by his words, in all probability, he was referring to the manner in which AIMIM has leaders that engage in dangerous inflammatory rhetoric for which they somehow never face any action from the party.
For instance, Akbaruddin Owaisi, the brother of the AIMIM supremo, once openly threatened Hindus and said that if Police was lifted across the country for 15 minutes, then Muslims would show Hindus who the boss is. More recently, senior AIMIM leader Waris Pathan had said during the CAA protests that 15 crore Muslims will dominate 100 crore Hindus and told the Hindu community to “imagine what we can do to you”. No action appears to have been taken against him either.