Yesterday, NDTV’s former journalist Nidhi Razdan took the social media by the storm as she revealed that she was conned with a job offer at Harvard University. The journalist said that she became the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard University never offered her a position as an associate professor in journalism. In a terse statement on Twitter, she said, “I have been the victim of a very serious phishing attack. I’m putting this statement out to set the record straight about what I’ve been through. I will not be addressing this issue any further on social media.”
Since Nidhi’s revelation, all social media platforms are buzzed up with speculations as to how a person of her position, who has worked for NDTV for almost 21 years, could be ‘scammed’. As Nidhi Razdan’s staggering confession was being widely discussed online, several social media users reminisced how RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti had also lied about being invited to deliver a lecture at the Harvard University and posted fake pictures back in 2015.
On March 7, 2015, Misa Bharti had told her friends in a Facebook post that she was on her way to Harvard to participate in an ‘India Conference’ on 7th and 8th March.
She also tweeted, two days after the event, that she had participated in the conference. “At the #IndiaConference at Harvard University, with key speakers and panelists,” she tweeted.
Misa uploaded pictures of her Facebook wall where she was seen taking part in a discussion. The photographs also showed Misa speaking from behind the podium as if speaking to an audience. The picture was captioned in Hindi: “Harvard Vishwavidyalaya mein yuvaaon ki bhagidari ko lekar vyakhyaan dete hue” (giving a lecture at Harvard University on the role of youth).
She also released the photos to newspapers in Bihar along with a press release saying she delivered a lecture at the American university.
Misa had then, even re-tweeted some pictures posted by BJP leader Kiran Bedi, who was one of the speakers at the event. The pictures, apparently clicked by Bedi from the podium, showed Misa Bharti seated in the audience.
When Harvard University busted Misa Bharti’s fake claims
However, Misa’s lie was busted after Harvard University clarified that it did not invite Misa Bharti as a speaker at its India Conference. The university released a statement saying: Misa Bharti was invited as part of the audience and not as a speaker of any panel at the India Conference at Harvard. Her attendee status can also be confirmed from the fact that she had to purchase a ticket as an audience. She was not invited to deliver any lecture. “Misa did not deliver any lecture and therefore no local US newspaper covered her lecture. She did not deliver any lecture and therefore we do not have any official pictures or videos,” the university added.
The reports then suggested that at the conference, the speakers included activist-politician Kiran Bedi, actor-activist Rahul Bose, ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan and BJP National Secretary Ram Madhav. But not Misa Bharti. Misa had allegedly gone on stage after the conference ended, took photographs and released it to newspapers.