Did Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt insult President Kalam?

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A right-wing fake news website, Postcard, has sensationally alleged that senior journalists Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai had once insulted the then President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam.

The website, notorious for carrying fake news in favour of the Hindutva brigade in India, went on to claim, “They (Rajdeep and Barkha) were sitting on a chair like “Maharajas”. They pushed their conversation forward, they did not feel the necessity that they should also sit down with him or stand in his honor and ask him to sit on a chair. Even if a common man is there, we stand in his honor from the chair and here the person in the frame was none other than our beloved President, “Kalam the Great”. But these morons disrespected him.”

The website even urged the Supreme Court to intervene and take action against the two journalists. But, the question is; did Rajdeep and Barkha indeed insult President Kalam? As expected, the Hindutva brigade’s lying machine has once again been caught spreading falsehood and fake propaganda.

Here’s what really happened 

The event in question was in 2007 with the occasion being the annual Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards. Both Rajdeep and Barkha were taking part in a panel discussion on journalism. Shekhar Gupta, who was the editor-in-chief of The Indian Express, too was in the panel. He wrote, “Pres. Kalam was chief guest at Ram Nath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards. He stayed back to watch panel disc (sic) on media & sat in the front-row sofa. He got so animated hearing the debate, he walked up to the stage, sat & spoke from there on his own. It was our high point.”

Shekhar’s clarification came after Barkha took dim view of the lies spread by Postcard website. Barkha wrote, “Time to shut down one more fake news story. @ShekharGupta was editor at Express at this event & will testify how President Kalam mandated this seating arrangement in his own inimitable way. So do find another horse to flog.”

The right-wing propaganda website even posted a YouTube link in its story. Its agenda clearly clearly appears to be to defame the two journalists.Soon after Kalam’s death this episode wad widely published to establish the humility of the then President of India. Meanwhile, the fake news continues to remain in wide circulation despite clarifications issued by both Shekhar and Barkha.



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