By now it is stale news – “Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai heckled and then pushed yesterday near Madison Square Garden by a group gathered to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before the leader arrived at the venue to address Indian Americans.”
Mr Sardesai tweeted, “Glad we caught the idiots on cam. Only way to shame the mob is to show them.”
He is an author, news presenter and an anchor par excellence. He is known for his bold, courageous and dispassionate coverage of 2002 Gujarat riots. Rajdeep is currently working as consulting editor at the India Today group. He was the Editor-in-Chief of IBN18 Network. His relationship with the group snapped in July 2014.
Rajdeep Sardesai is well known for his principled political differences for Narendra Modi. His secular credentials make him the darling of liberal India. Out of many grouses against him the latest is his opinion about BJP’s Muslim face. In the run up of Lok Sabaha election many Muslims were approached by RSS / BJP or vice versa. MJ Akbar, the well known media personality was one of them.
Rajdeep Sardesai felt the entry of Akbar was a token representation of BJP to defend itself against the charge of being a Hindus-only party. According to him, MJ Akbar’s exact business interests are the subject of much speculation. Other Muslims like Najma Heptullah, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain have been enjoying political benefits without the mass bases. He feels that these Muslims are with the BJP because they look for perks, benefits and privileges that the BJP leadership could make for them available.
In view of recent beheadings of journalist in middle east and mortal dangers faced in Ukraine, the thrashing received by Rajdeep Sirdesai pals into insignificance. In fact, in this new world order, the new political culture has meant that media, and journalists in particular, consider the repression of freedom of expression to be ‘normal’ and ‘part of their job’. Journalists are regularly threatened, often they disappear and soon forgotten. The powers at the helm practice the culture of silent and often violent repression.
The recent killing of journalists in Iraq theater was intended to frighten the inimical governments to refrain them from acting against fanatical forces and a warning to media into not exercising critical and investigative journalism. The hate organizations like ISIS and their parallels around the world are the beneficiaries of fear they create. Obviously, they are the ones who generate it.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has recently published its full report on the number of journalists and media staff killed across the globe in 2013. It is titled “IN Mortal Danger: Journalist & Media Staff Killed in 2013.
The report provides information on the 105 journalists and media staff who lost their lives in targeted attacks, bomb attacks and other cross fire incidents during the year, while also raising awareness of the continued safety crisis around the globe. There are also updates on 15 accidental deaths recorded last year.
Those who thrashed Rajdeep in full public glaze were not afraid of society, culture or the laws of the country they reside. It is pure CHAUVINISM that was perpetrated in the name of ‘Nationalism.’
The civilized world is not going to be intimidated by the Goonda Gardi whether its happens in New York or in Indore, Bangalore or elsewhere.
P.S: After my tweet was published about Rajdeep, I also got a threat on tweet by Akhil Pratap Singh saying – “Agla number may be apka.”
@SyedNaimNaqvi Agla number may be aapka 😉
— अखिल प्रताप सिंह (@SINGH_AKHIL24) September 28, 2014
By: Naim Naqvi