Sunday, Jul 03, 2022

Arnab A Fantasist, Wanted To Be Rajdeep: Who Said What On Republic Chief's Riots 'Lie'

We should not appropriate someone else's story just to embellish our CVs: Rajdeep Sardesai

File Photo

It seems like Arnab Goswami is a fantasist who just wanted to be Rajdeep Sardesai, said journalist and author Swati Chaturvedi on India Today's newsroom Wednesday night. 

The statement was in reference to the 'lie' Goswami told years ago about being attacked by saffron goons while covering the Gujarat riots in 2002.  Former colleague Rajdeep Sardesai called out on Goswami and said he narrated Sardesai's story found in his book 2014: The Elections That Changed India and made it his own. 

Last night in the newsroom of India Today, journalist Rahul Kanwal raised the issue again, seeking apology from the Editor-in-chief of Republic and asking if the standards of accountability journalists expect from politicians and leaders shouldn't also be practised by them. 

Rajdeep Sardesai said it was sad that his 'friend' Arnab Goswami could do something like that. 

'When I first saw the video, I had a mixed feeling of amusement and astonishment. We should not appropriate someone else's story just to embellish our CVs,' he told Kanwal in the newsroom, adding that it might be a mistake on Goswami's part and that he should just apologise and end it for all. 

Journalist Tavleen Singh said it could not just be a mistake. 'He has done something that damages us all.'

Playing the devil's advocate, lawyer Sanjay Hegde said there could be a few points that can be said in Goswami's defence.  One would be that the narration was not a public one and that the whole incident of Gujarat riots was a reportage which did not have Arnab's byline.

 'He was among his own folk. He let down his hair a bit and he more than embellished the truth. A man is entitled to be a legend in his own mind.' 

Editor R.Jaganathan, another panelist,  slammed Goswami for being an 'anchor-cum-prosecutor' and a 'larger than life journalist' who has a 'delusional awareness of his own experience.' He said it was a wake-up call and Goswami should at last come up with an explanation. 

Will Arnab Goswami issue a mea culpa or be a mute participant of the controversy is undecided but so far, media and social media are not willing to bury the matter.