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Journalists should stay away from politics, can give in writing that I will never accept RS ticket: Old tweets of Sagarika Ghose go viral as TMC nominates her for upper house

In March 2018, Ghose had tweeted, “haha! I will never accept any RS (Rajya Sabha) ticket or PS ticket or CS ticket from any political party, sir. That I can give you in writing and you can save this tweet.” 

On Sunday (11th February), the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party announced that journalist Sagarika Ghose has been given a ticket for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in West Bengal. Following the announcement of the Rajya Sabha berth for journalist-turned-politician Ghose, her old tweets in which she had sermonised that journalists should not accept the RS berth and similar remarks have surfaced online. 

In several of these tweets, Sagarika Ghose had categorically asserted that she would never accept any Rajya Sabha ticket, adding that she can give this in writing. Notably, quoting a tweet in March 2018, Ghose had tweeted, “haha! I will never accept any RS (Rajya Sabha) ticket or PS ticket or CS ticket from any political party, sir. That I can give you in writing and you can save this tweet.” 

On the same day, she opined that Journalists should stay away from politics and having loyalty to any political party. She argued that compromising independence is the worst thing that scribes can do to themselves. Ghose further advised to strengthen India’s civil society, strengthen liberal democracy, and work for justice stressing that Netas should be left alone in their hamaam. 

She had tweeted, “Journalists, IMHO, shd stay away from politics & loyalty to any political party. Compromising independence is worst thing scribes can do to themselves. Lets strengthen India’s civil society,  strengthen liberal democracy, work for justice. Let the netas be naked in their hamaam!”  

Earlier in 2012 as well, she had sermonised the same claiming that she lives by the dictums of veteran Journalist Vinod Mehta – the founder of Outlook Magazine. Back then, she had opined that being a journalist is more exciting than a Rajya Sabha ticket or government posting.  

She wrote, “I live by Vinod Mehta’s dictum, being a journalist is far grander, more exciting than RS berths, govt posts. Another good journo joins govt.”

Sharing her old tweets, netizens slammed the journalist for going against her own words and accepting the Rajya Sabha ticket.

In recent years, Sagarika Ghose had helped further the narrative of Trinamool Congress through her embedded journalism. Interestingly, the same Mamata Banerjee who approved her Rajya Sabha candidature had walked out of her interview 12 years ago.

Netizens slam her husband, Rajdeep Sardesai for preaching about journalism

Meanwhile, several netizens have also shared how her husband Rajdeep Sardesai too had been taking the moral high ground opining that journalists should not accept Rajya Sabha berth or government postings for their journalistic work. 

In a blog on his site, titled ‘The Journalist as Neta’, he began asking the question, “Should journalists enter Rajya Sabha on a political party ticket?” 

In this 2018 blog, Sardesai advises against it and labelled various tags and allegations for a berth in the upper house.   

He wrote, “The Upper House membership is afflicted by cronyism and deal making: quid pro quos for favours, past and present, are the order of the day. Media owners turned netas are even more culpable in this regard, allowing their news channels and newspapers to be shamelessly used by those in political office. Networking/influence peddling, the scent of power and money are often the name of the game rather than a genuine desire to contribute to raising the bar in public life.” 

He added, “Once a journalist enters the political domain he or she sheds any pretense at independent journalism.” Further in the blog, he claimed that he once turned down the offer by a regional political party. Concluding the blog, he opined that if a journalist wants to join politics, they should first “quit” journalism — “if you want to join politics, please do so, but quit journalism first!” 

Additionally, netizens have also been sharing an old video interaction of then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi with Rajdeep Sardesai where he had asserted that people who abuse Modi get Rajya Sabha seat and wished Sardesai for continuing his baseless tirade against him to avail that offer. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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