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Rajat Sharma’s response to Congress’ accusations and the slowed down video of the segment: What he really said

Sharma, who has been in the field of journalism for 44 years and on TV for 31 years, expressed deep sorrow and termed the allegations against him as a conspiracy to slander his name and reputation as a journalist.

On 11th June, in the recent episode of “Aaj Ki Baat”, veteran journalist Rajat Sharma addressed the allegations levelled against him by the Congress Party. Notably, Congress spokesperson Ragini Nayak had claimed that Sharma used abusive language against her during live shows on election counting day.

Sharma, who has been in the field of journalism for 44 years and on TV for 31 years, expressed deep sorrow and termed the allegations against him as a conspiracy to slander his name and reputation as a journalist.

Addressing the viewers, Sharma stated, “Everyone knows that I have never spoken to anyone in a raised voice or insulted anyone. I have always asked even the toughest questions with a smile and spoken my mind politely. That’s why I have received so much love from you.” Sharma was visibly hurt by the accusations made by the Congress Party’s leaders and media cell that ran a campaign on social media claiming he used abusive language.

Before Sharma’s statement, India TV warned the Congress communication department and urged them to stop spreading lies. In the communication made public by India TV, it was emphasised that Sharma is known for his dignity and polite manner of speaking and that any false accusations against him would amount to defamation. However, Congress did not stop the malicious campaign.

Sharma clarified that the entire show in question was live and everyone saw what happened on that day. He said, “If anything had happened, everyone would have known.” He also replayed the portion of the show in question multiple times. During the show that day, Congress spokesperson Nayak misquoted him. He tried to clarify his stand and avoided further debate when she did not listen to him. He felt that the spokesperson was sent to provoke him but the attempt of the Congress party failed.

Talking about the show, that aired on 4th June, Sharma pointed out that there were no allegations of abusive language for six days. However, on 10th June, it was propagated that Sharma used foul language against a female spokesperson on the live show. Rajat Sharma played the full segment of the show for the viewers to see and demonstrated that there was no abusive language used.

He stated, “The video was available then, and it is available now for anyone to see. I have nothing to hide because I have done nothing wrong and said nothing wrong.” Sharma added that an initial warning was sent by the channel before Sharma made any statement in public. However, the Congress media cell repeated their accusations. Consequently, Sharma handed over the matter to the legal team of the India TV channel and the case is being processed to take Congress party to the court.

Concluding his statement, Sharma reassured his viewers and said, “You know me well; I am not afraid of such conspiracies because the truth is on my side, and the facts support me. Those who have deliberately defamed me will now have to answer in court.”

OpIndia’s analysis of the video

OpIndia analysed the video shared by the Congress media cell to level accusations against Rajat Sharma. Towards the end of the clip, Rajat Sharma says something in a very low voice which Congress has claimed was an abusive word against Ragini Nayak. OpIndia slowed down the video and checked it to understand what Sharma was saying. Here are the clips of the specific portion that is being talked about by Congress party.

Video portion at 0.5x speed

Video portion at 0.25x speed

In both speeds it is evident that there is a small gap when Sharma was speaking in a low voice. Furthermore, which might look like abusive word to some people, in reality he was saying “Kya baat karein, chodo”. He said, “Kya baat karein” then there is a small gap followed by him saying “chodo”. When it is played at a normal speed, this gap is not visible.

India TV warned Congress leaders against spreading fake news about Rajat Sharma

A day after Ragini Nayak, Jairam Ramesh and Pawan Khera accused journalist Rajat Sharma of abusing on-air, India TV issued a statement on Tuesday (10th June) vowing legal action against the Congress leaders.

While issuing a warning to the trio, India TV’s Legal Head Ritika Talvar said, “I am writing to you on behalf of India’s most respected journalist and television presenter Mr. Rajat Sharma, who has been in this profession for more than four decades and has a very high degree of credibility and reputation. Mr. Sharma is known for his cultured and civilised behaviour both on and off air. Television viewers world over appreciate his polite and gentle style of anchoring.”

She further added, “We have seen your posts on social media where you have accused Mr. Sharma of using abusive language on air. The allegations made by you in your posts are absolutely false and lack any basis and foundation whatsoever. They are malicious and defamatory and clearly constitute fake news. You have blatantly violated all limits of public decency by falsely accusing a personality of high repute. We are taking legal advice on this to take further action.”

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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