Rajdeep Sardesai – A Compulsive Fake News Peddler

Rajdeep Sardesai is not a man who is beholden to an introduction from an up-and-coming journalist yet to make a mark in the media industry in the grander scheme of things such as myself, however, I will provide him with one in adhering with the presuppositions of professional courtesy and etiquette which find association with journalism.

Rajdeep Sardesai is a man who is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly overzealous, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily unprofessional, and apparently quite proud of these things. To put it in a more simplistic fashion, Rajdeep Sardesai is a man who unequivocally manifests himself as a donkey in the contextual world of communication and media.

The aforementioned has not been inserted into its rightful place on account of any ideological strife or political vendetta which the author might be alleged of utilizing as a catalyst for penning this article, the opposition to the brand of ‘journalism,’ if it is even possible to refer to it as such, which Sardesai is an unwavering flagbearer of simply stems from being a begrudgingly sincere observer of his recorded dilapidated work history.

Now comes the crucial part – substantiating on the platitudinous allegations levelled against the centerpiece of the article i.e. Mr. Sardesai. Usually, against any reasonable man or woman who commits a mistake every now and then like people are expected to, substantiating turns out to be a rudimentary activity. However, with somebody like a Sardesai whose entire career can only justifiably be characterized as that of a potpourri of lies, misinformation and subsequently made lackadaisical apologies, substantiating can be quite the rigmarole. Nonetheless, we shall get straight down to it.

For starters, we need to go back in time to a grand total of only 6 days ago when Sardesai, in his unequalled effulgence, wrongfully declared the former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee dead through his twitter handle while the latter was still very much alive and receiving treatment for Covid-19. Soon after, the children of Shri Pranab Mukherjee themselves were compelled to take to Twitter to counter and debunk the false narratives which, as a result of being sponsored by a senior media personality, were spreading like wildfire and causing immense psycho-social damage to the family. Sardesai later, after being hounded by the twitterati for his abominable act, issued an ostensibly forced apology for the same.

Next, let us take a longer trip down memory lane to 2014 when Sardesai ludicrously lost his cool and initiated a scuffle with a civilian in a foreign country. While covering Modi’s event at the iconic Madison Square Garden (MSG) in 2014 during the latter’s initial visit to America as India’s Prime Minister, Sardesai decided to engage with a crowd stationed outside the MSG premises to gauge the level of admiration which American-Indians housed for their newly elected P.M. Upon witnessing the NRI crowds’ unwavering affection for Modi in New York from close proximity, Rajdeep was conspicuously flustered. This, surely enough, resulted in him invoking and repeating his same old trope of 2002 ad nauseam until the crowd decided to put their foot down and vehemently voice their displeasure against it.

A bellicose Sardesai was then seen to be engaging with selective individuals from the crowd to try to intimidate them with his non-existent knowledge and intellect. Then, after believing to have successfully talked down to a presumable Modi supporter, Rajdeep seemed to be proudly walking away in glory. At this point, the Modi supporter was seen verbally retaliating against Sardesai in a reciprocal manner. What followed was a hilarious sequence in which Rajdeep was seen charging the poor fellow trying to, as they say, ‘touch him up.’ Fortunately, for Rajdeep, the crowd exhibited unwarranted grace and civility and decided against the idea of rag dolling him for his buffoonery.

Thirdly, in November of 2018, during an interaction with some students of St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Sardesai, sporting a moronic smile, divulged the title of his autobiography while dim lightening the younger generation saying, We are vultures, we feed on these moments.’ The context of, ‘these moments,’ lies in an abhorrent story which Sardesai rejoicingly narrated to the students prior to his autobiographical Freudian slip. Sardesai had previously recited to the students the story of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament, which he made sure to conclude by terming the entire ordeal as, “A GREAT DAY.”

Now, let us shed light on the sheer Multiplicity of the number of times when Rajdeep has been forced into a corner to apologize for deliberately peddling misinformation and lies.

1. Rajdeep issued an unconditional apology to IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi in 2019 after the latter legally pursued Rajdeep for having needlessly dragged his name into the 2007 Sohrabuddin encounter case through a programme he aired during his stint with CNN-IBN in 2007 titled, ‘30 Minutes – Sohrabuddin, the inside story.’

2. In 2017, Rajdeep, staying true to his character, got himself embroiled in yet another fake news conspiracy wherein he falsely alleged through his twitter handle that the Banaras Hindu University’s Vice-Chancellor had accompanied P.M Modi during the latter’s rally at the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Later, when Sardesai’s lies stood completely exposed, he rendered an excuse of an apology wherein he labelled his Machiavellianism to be a paltry case of mistaken identity.

3. Post the 2017 fiasco, Legal Rights Observatory Convener Vinay Joshi sent a heavily worded email to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) demanding stern action against Sardesai for the latter’s relinquishing of all perceivable standards of journalistic ethics and integrity. In the email, Joshi mentioned that Sardesai had also consciously tried to malign Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 2011 after presenting a distorted interview of his to the public-at-large for mass consumption, after being called out for which, he again begged for forgiveness. Joshi, in the email, made sure to emphasize on the Mephistophelian nature of Sardesai by describing him as a ‘habitual offender and careful fabricator of mischievous intent.’

4. In 2018, the Kasganj communal riots shook the state of Uttar Pradesh when a group of local Hindus decided to take out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ on Republic Day which traversed numerous neighbourhoods along its route, including a Muslim one. Subsequently, a man named Chandan Gupta, who was at the forefront of the Tiranga Yatra procession, was shockingly shot by one Salim after he allegedly refused to chant, ‘Pakistan Zindabad,’ while passing through the latter’s neighbourhood. Thereafter, when the father of Chandan Gupta naturally initiated his fight for justice for his son in the courts against the murderous goons, he started receiving death threats from the assailant’s acquaintances. ANI reported on the same. Sardesai then entered uninvited into the picture from nowhere and endorsed a fake news blog’s article which falsely tried to delegitimize the genuine threat to Chandan’ father’s life.

Following this incident, both, the editor of ANI Smita Prakash, as well as the main police official in charge of the case Mr. Ripduman Singh, had to issue unnecessary clarifications on the same. Although, this time around, Rajdeep did not even find it pertinent enough to import some decency for the purposes of issuing an apology albeit phony in nature for his ghastly blunder.

5. Post the recent Galwan Valley clash which occured between the Indian Army and China’s PLA, Ladakh based innovator and education reformist Sonam Wangchuk, the man based on whose life Aamir Khan’s role in 3 Idiots was developed and portrayed, decided to raise a clarion call to his fellow countrymen to boycott Chinese products, which, for obvious reasons, found traction with people. A blathering Sardesai then putridly proceeded to aske Wangchuk on Twitter, “I can most certainly do without another app/TikTok in my life, but what of the made in China Statue of Unity? Will we all stop visiting it?”

This profound line of argumentation from Rajdeep instantly torpefied me, however, a close-by contemporary was sympathetic enough to quickly rush in with a Google search result on the Statue of Unity to help resuscitate me. The search result explicitly mentioned that the Statue of Unity was built in Kevadia, Gujarat with the help of an overwhelming majority of Indian labour under the aegis of the engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T). After rejuvenating myself with this information, I tried to locate Rajdeep’s tweet to convey the same sensibilities to him, however, it was no longer to be found anywhere on the micro-blogging site, and neither was an admission of guilt for trying to propagate another piece of fake news.

6. A little more than a week ago, Rajdeep Sardesai perhaps made one of the more insensitive remarks of his career when he said, “Sushant was not such a big star that the police should be put under such tremendous pressure.” Rajdeep’s remark can effectively be translated to – only a categorical elite of this country should expect to be fought for and delivered with justice by the institutions supporting our democracy, everybody else should have the basic understanding to roll over on their bellies and keep quiet when their dignity and rights are being trampled upon.
People from all across the country condemned Rajdeep’s repugnant statement and vociferously demanded for a sincere apology which, again, is yet to be discovered.

7. On the 8th of May 2020, Rajdeep Sardesai, imprisoned by his ideological compulsions, took to Twitter to lavish praise on Rahul Gandhi for conducting unscripted and spontaneous Zoom press conferences in the backdrop of the Covid-19 lockdown unlike ‘other netas.’ Surprisingly, the person who ousted him this time around for trying to peddle misinformation was none other than a journalist from his very own cadre by the name of Sheela Bhatt. Sheela said that she, along with every other journalist, was forced to submit questions to Randeep Surjewala, the communication department in-charge of the Congress party, before the commencement of the press conference so that the questions appropriate for the consumption of Rahul Gandhi could be cherry picked.

After this exposé, Rajdeep again, in consistency with his record, went AWOL.

Similarly, there are innumerable other such instances wherein Rajdeep Sardesai has proved his mettle as that of being the country’s premier fake news peddler. However, if we were to truly give Rajdeep’s (un)distinguished journalistic career its deserving due, then we would need to come up with a fat book instead of an article, because no single piece, irrespective of how winded it is, can do justice with even scratching the tip of Rajdeep’s gargantuan iceberg of fraudulence. Although, contributing, even if it is a granule, to the exposition of phonies like Sardesai who have taken up the mantle of trying to catalyze the disintegration of this civilization’s social fabric by destabilizing localities along communal lines and jeopardizing the security of those who try to seek justice is something which no half-human even could ever pass up!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi