Ever Watched the Olympic Wrestling matches. Those are really good, two agile wrestlers constantly shooting for each others’ feet, locked in what Richard Dawkins would call the Immortal Coil and trying to score as many points as possible by pinning the opponent on the ground or shoving him out of the arena. Now watch a WWE Match and observe the Wrestlers with chiselled bodies, Outrageous masks, tights and headgears often escorted by a hot babe or a comical Assistant. Notice their high-flying moves, shoves, punches, Full Body Presses, Choke Slams, Pile Drivers, 619s and DDTs. Which one would you call more entertaining. 11 out of 10 people will go for WWE, mind you I am only talking about entertainment here and not technicality.
Now let us come to Indian Media and revisit the Old Doordarshan Era. Back then News used to be boring. Breaking News were delayed. Every inch of the screen was not hijacked by tickers and adverts, in a nutshell, Indian Journalism was dreary. Like Traditional wrestling it was correct on technical parameters but the Grim visages of Shammi Narang, Sunit Tandon and the High School headmaster mannerisms of Ved Prakash were pretty dull. Like Traditional Wrestling Indian Journalism lacked the X factor.
Rajdeep Sardesai was one of the first members of the Gen X New Reporting Era. Rajdeep Sardesai was a stylo, someone who couldn’t just speak in perfect English but interact in it and switch to his effortless Mumbaiyya Hindi whenever need be. Rajdeep Sardesai probably had it in his genes, he carried the natural flamboyance of his cricketer father Dileep Sardesai. Rajdeep and his contemporaries went on to change the face of Indian Media. Now News was not a 20 Minute Bulletin but a 24X7 Extravaganza, from “ISRO’s Missile Launches” to “Prince Fell in the Well”, everything was now being covered and discussed unremittingly. Rajdeep was the uncrowned monarch of this generation and that made him truly frank, even meddlesome or plain irritating at times.
Few Days Back Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee Put Rajdeep in his place and reminded him that he is not talking to a commoner but the ex-president of India, to which Rajdeep meekly apologized.
Here’s the Video:
But this is not the only example. The Frank, Meddlesome and Irritating Rajdeep Sardesai has a long history of needling interviewees on his talk shows. We’ll list out a few of them, but before presenting the list, a big shout-out to @ moronhumor on Twitter who compiled an impressive list of incidents where the guest gave it back to Sardesai.
1. Rajdeep Sardesai and Raj Thackrey:
Who, in his right sense, would annoy Raj Thackrey? The wrath of the MNS Chief who isn’t known for taking insults lying down was out in its full glory when Sardesai constantly needled him about a possible MNS-SS merger.
Here’s the Video:
2. Rajdeep Sardesai and Narendra Modi:
Many Journalists made careers out of the 2002 Gujarat Riots, Rajdeep was one of them. 2002 Gujarat Riots had all the ingredients of a successful media story (which goes on till date), A Hindu Nationalist CM, a Prosperous state, a Resurgent BJP and of course a Hindu Muslim Riot that led to widespread violence and killings. Rajdeep was gripped by an insatiable urge to find out the truth all by himself and by routinely pointing fingers at then Gujarat CM and current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Here’s PM Modi ripping Sardesai all ends apart (without so much as looking at him):
3. Rajdeep Sardesai and Mukesh Ambani:
Mukesh Ambani is a quiet, reserved businessman but even he couldn’t take Sardesai’s atrocious introductory remark about him. Here’s Sardesai getting a dose of Ambanism.
4. Rajdeep Sardesai and Amitabh Bachchan:
Bihar elections were around the corner. And Project “Intolerance” was in full swing. Rajdeep tried to push Amitabh Bachchan into the Intolerance slush, but the seasoned actor didn’t just defuse Rajdeep’s attack but made him acknowledge on National Media that Intolerance was a trap.
5. Rajdeep Sardesai and Smriti Irani:
Smriti Irani is one of the best orators in the current crop of politicians. She doesn’t just respond to questions but she owns them. Rahul Kanwal was probably the first victim of Irani’s quick wit and then Barkha Dutt was overwhelmed by her multiple times. Here’s Rajdeep trying his jibes at Smriti Irani and getting reduced to a struggling, quivering and stuttering dud.
6. Rajdeep Sardesai and Sadhguru:
It is impossible to irk a Sadhu, but nothing is impossible for Rajdeep. Here’s Rajdeep irking Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and getting it back from him.
7. Rajdeep Sardesai and Asaduddin Owaisi
The Suave Muslim Leader from Hyderabad completely owned Rajdeep and left the Audience in Splits when the latter accused him of being BJP’s mole.
8. Rajdeep Sardesai and Sania Mirza
Rajdeep the Stylish anchor effortlessly slipped into the role of Mohalle Ki Kaki and asked an extremely sexist question to Sania Mirza. This is possibly the worst and the most shameless question that Rajdeep ever asked to anyone on his show. He brazenly asked Sania Mirza about her “plans of Settling Down (When will she deliver a child?)”. Sania gracefully put Rajdeep in his place and forced him to apologize on national Media.
Rajdeep probably holds a record of needling and getting humiliated by people who appeared on his shows right From Presidents to Prime Ministers to Ministers to Athletes to Actors, and even people.
Who can forget his Madison act where he charged into a group of people and called them “people with money and no class and a frenzied Narendra Modi Crowd”. And ended up getting shoved by them.
Here is the video to end this article with: