Chandigarh, November 21, 2020: The Power Coffee session at the fag end of the second day of Chandigarh Literary Society’s 8th edition of Literati, turned out to be a powerful and engrossing session with Rajdeep Serdesai batting with aplomb.
He livened up the session with his memories of working as a lawyer after returning from Oxford to entry into journalism with Times of India to be the first one to declare Sachin Tendulkar as the upcoming don of Indian cricket way back in November 1988 grabbing the front page byeline with his story.
Winner of over 50 awards for journalistic excellence and Padma Shri in Journalism in 2018, his two best sellers, “2014: The Election that Changed India”, and “2019: How Modi Won India”, according to him, were the documentations of Indian political and democratic scenario for the posterity to understand what, how, and why of these historic events.
Both books were written to educate the readers and make politics accessible to the readers, inform them about political trends and events that unfolded, and not to make or impose any opinion, he said, since we as journalists are privileged to get access to the ringside view of the happenings as they unfold.
People did tried to label me on political parameters but my ‘dharma’ as a journalist is to report the news and the facts, and not take any sides, since an author writes for a much larger audience and not to please the players in the events, he remarked.
He however lamented the fact that with over 400 tv channels in the country, the tv journalists are sharply polarized and divided just like our society, and strongly believed that TV journalism is on the decline and Sushant Singh Rajput’s case sounded the deathknell turning channels into a farce/‘tamasha’.
The editors and owners of channels will have to raise the bar and the ethical and professional standards of journalism to plug the decline, and he believed that print media at least is protected so far in retaining its credibility, Sardesai felt.
He also referred to the fake news through social media channels impacting the lives of the people through wrong narratives which is far more dangerous since we don’t have the means to counter such campaigns.
Rajdeep Serdesai offered to participate in the next Literati at Chandigarh, which, he said, is a beautiful city unlike the ‘gas chamber’ that we live in here in Delhi.