Rajat Sharma presents the show of his lifetime

Mar 18, 2014, 12:21 IST | Pradyuman Maheshwari

Much as I try and scan all new channels as I write this column, it’s impossible to watch every nightly show. That’s perhaps why I missed ‘Aaj ki Baat’ on India TV last Friday.

As I watched that edition on the channel’s website yesterday, the show took me back two decades to vintage Rajat Sharma. I have had misgivings with the content of his channel and have quizzed him in interviews. Rather than be defensive about the need to dumb down his primetime news, Rajatji was very candid about the need to air the stuff.

He said his channel had a fair amount of developmental news in its early days, but figured to his dismay that the public didn’t want any of that.

But what we had on telly that night was special and straight from the heart. The India TV bossman had a bad throat and was running fever. But he came to the studio to present the show of his lifetime. The hour-odd-long-show tore apart Arvind Kejriwal and questioned the Aam Aadmi Party statement on four channels – including India TV – having been on the take from Narendra Modi and the BJP.

While spokespersons of the party were quick to say they got confused between India News and India TV, Sharma called for a retraction in a presser in the presence of the entire media.

Rajat Sharma appeared very hurt, saying that for the first time in his 32-year career as a journalist had someone charged him in the way the AAP officebearer did.

He also defended Times Now and Arnab Goswami and vouched for their credibility. He said he was upset about the name of Zee News also being dragged, a channel he had founded ten years ago. He didn’t defend India News, but I am not going to read much into it.

Arvind Kejriwal and his Aap Aadmi Party deserve the rough end of the stick. Use your party symbol elsewhere, folks. Not to make sweeping statements about the media.

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it. Twitter: @pmahesh E: noose@pman.in

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