PETITION-Disallow Rajdeep from participating and embarrassing India in any international event in the future

published on October 2, 2014

Dear Mr. Purie,

I am sure you are aware of the unfortunate event involving Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor, TV Today Group and a group of NRIs outside the Madison Square Garden, New York City, US. I also hope that like many of us you agree that this event caused embarrassment to our country and people of Indian origin during what many would call a momentous occasion that sought to rebuild the trust in what we call brand India.

What is really appalling is the way Mr. Sardesai instigated, provoked and finally assaulted a group of non-resident Indians to create a controversy around an otherwise non-partisan event. I along with other signatories of this petition would like to highlight these points to you.

1. Mr. Sardesai asked questions with clear political slant that were meant to humiliate the people gathered outside the venue. If freedom of speech and journalism gives him a right to ask such questions than he should have dignity and courage to accepts answers, which the video evidence shows very negative but not abusive.

2. Video evidence that is available also clearly shows that Mr. Sardesai not only abused the crowd but also initiated the scuffle that he later tried to term as “an assault” and an “organized attack”.

3. Most importantly, no other person or groups, including some who were protesting against the PM of India, faced any misbehavior. Some of the other journalists, who in the past have written negatively about the PM were seen freely talking to people on streets.

All the evidence available clearly indicates that Mr. Sardesai, knowingly or unknowingly, created and participated in an event that disgraced apart from other things the journalist fraternity of India. In light of this incident, it is clear that Mr. Sardesai either lacks maturity that a senior journalist of his stature should possess or his political biases are strong enough to sway his moral compass to an extent that he willingly compromises his personal dignity and shames his employer and country to make a statement. What ever be the reason, such behavior at an important international event can neither be tolerated nor be allowed to repeat in the future.

I along with my fellow signatories respect your right and decision to employ any person in TV Today group and am not seeking a termination of Mr. Sardesai’s employment. How ever, as concerned citizens, we would not like such incident to be repeated at any international stage, big or small. We are not sure if Mr. Sardesai will not misbehave and bring disrepute to our country if he gets another opportunity to represent TV today in an international event. Hence, I along with my fellow signatories would like you to put a blanket ban on Mr. Sardesai covering any international event in the future as a TV Today reporter. It would save India and TV Today group from any such embarrassment in the future. We would also like you to direct Mr. Sardesai to submit an unconditional apology to the nation and NRIs involved for causing embarrassment and inconvenience.

We expect a quick response. Thank you so much.

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