Watch: NDTV's Nidhi Razdan's lessons on being professional when accused by BJP's Sambit Patra of having an 'agenda'
Nidhi Razdan showed that a panel could be run without irritating the viewers.
Indian news channels, you know the ones we're referring to, offer quite the entertainment. We all love to 'hate-watch' news anchors — especially when the rhetoric (sorry) is serving a larger good. Arnab Goswami's take-down of Abhijeet Mukherjee for calling anti-rape protesters as 'dented-painted' women inspired many mash-ups. Then there was the time when Meenakshi Lekhi accused Goswami of having ulterior motives and the then anchor of Times Now had lost his mind.
In a similar but far more professional vein, Nidhi Razdan showed that a panel could be run without irritating the viewers — but we're hoping this inspires some mash-ups, because who doesn't love those?
On Thursday, Nidhi Razdan — the primary anchor of NDTV 24x7's show 'Left Right and Centre', a live broadcast show which covers current debates — was discussing the new rules on cattle slaughter and the recent incident where Kerala Congress members had protested the 'ban' by allegedly slaughtering a male calf in public. Thursday's panel on the show included Congress’ Sharmistha Mukherjee (daughter of Pranab Mukherjee), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) spokesperson Saravanan, Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Sanjoy Hazarika among others.
The row in the panel broke out when Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson interrupted Sanjoy Hazarika and said, "Nidhi allow everyone to speak..." to which Hazarika, visibly piqued, said, "Why do you always interrupt?"
Razadan took it from there and tried letting Hazarika speak and said that he is making an important point, but Patra interrupted again and accused Razdan of having an agenda in the Kerala public slaughter row and that was the reason she was arguing against him. He said, "I interrupt people in NDTV only and I do that because NDTV has an agenda and I need to do that."
Patra's allegations against Razdan and the network having an 'agenda' did not sit well with the anchor. She politely asked him to apologise for his allegedly defamatory statements against NDTV. "Either you apologise for that or please leave the programme," she said.
"I am not going to accept the accusation of having an agenda. Just because you are asked questions does not mean that there is an agenda," she said in sternly.
Patra kept talking over her and said that he is just being candid and later said that he won't leave because he wants to put BJP's points across.
"No no no...I will not leave. How dare you say leave? (sic)" he said.
"Of course I can ask you to leave, it's my programme. How dare you say that we have an agenda?" she said.
"It is your programme? It is your programme? It is your programme? What do you mean it is your programme" bellowed Patra looking shocked (probably because he does not now how channel programming works, we don't know).
This talk went back and forth, but Razdan didn't scream or yell or shout like you know who, she was stern and sounded vexed but she upheld the qualities of professionalism.
Patra kept trying to talk over her and insisted that he would "expose the show throughout."
The ordeal lasted more than three-minutes and then Razdan moved on to Sarvanan and continued her panel discussion.
Some people extended their support, solidarity and praise to Razdan on Twitter
Sambit Patra just damaged the BJP on NDTV more than any enemy of the party could have. Nidhi Razdan showed remarkable restraint.
— Tavleen Singh (@tavleen_singh) June 1, 2017
.@RazdanNidhi is a really fine anchor-asks toughest questions in an understated,non confrontational way;has created a civil space for debate — Prashant Jha (@prashantktm) June 1, 2017
This is what media needs to do in testing times. Sambit patra threatens to boycott ndtv and @RazdanNidhi asks to apologise or leave. BRAVE
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) June 1, 2017
Bereft of answers Sambit becomes a troll & starts hurling ad-hominem. @RazdanNidhi = dignity & grace personified https://t.co/T19yTS5nDO — Dushyant (@atti_cus) June 1, 2017
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