Aaj Tak journalist Anjana Om Kashyap issued a clarification after her ‘off-camera’ comment comparing Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi which got aired seemingly by mistake during a live broadcast. While a clip of Aditya’s response to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the ‘India Today Conclave‘ was playing, Kashyap can be heard in the background as saying, “Ye Shiv Sena ka Rahul Gandhi saabit hoga, likhke rakh lijiye (He’s going to be the Rahul Gandhi of Shiv Sena, take it in writing).”
On Saturday, Kashyap tweeted the clarification after a sharp response from the Shiv Sena in objection to her comment. She said, “My remark on Aditya Thackeray which is being spread with malice was out of lapse of judgement. I regret it. This, by no means, reflects the views of the channel or the network.”
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said that Kashyap should focus on journalism instead of predicting the future like a “parrot on the street”. She added, “Also, it’s ok to call others Pappu or speak about their intelligence. But not knowing you’re on the air, after decades of working in that space and voicing your ‘expert’ views definitely exposes your ‘intelligence’. Just saying.”
कौन क्या साबित होगा वो तो समय ही तय करेगा, पर कुछ लोग तो बहुत पहले से ही भाड़े के टट्टु साबित हो चुके हैं! पत्रकारित्ता पर ध्यान दें, भविष्यवाणी तो तोता भी सड़कों पर पैसे से करता है।
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) September 21, 2019
The Youth Congress also slammed Kashyap over “ridiculing” Rahul and said that she must think and talk without the BJP “directing every word”. “We pity you that you have to make a living out of ridiculing others @anjanaomkashyap. We sincerely hope, for your sake, that you get to think and talk without the BJP directing your every word. Do not become the new shame of journalism in India. You can be better than that,” the party tweeted.
Aditya was speaking on whether current allies in Maharashtra — the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena — will form a pre-poll alliance in the state after the Election Commission announced the dates for the Assembly election on Saturday. Aditya, who is being speculated to be appointed as the deputy chief minister if the current government comes back to power in October, in recent times has been a vocal critic of some decisions of the administration.
Twitterati had a mixed reaction to the gaffe by Kashyap, with some calling for the Uddhav Thackeray-led party to take action against her and some speaking in support of her “telling the truth”.
ध्यान से सुनना … मजा न आये तो पैसे वापस
— Arjun Verma 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣% follow back 5k.. (@ArjunVerma01) September 21, 2019
What a time to be alive.
Anjana Om Kashyap had to apologize to Aditya Thackeray for comparing him to Rahul Gandhi.
— Abhishek (@AbhishBanerj) September 22, 2019
I am happy to see prominent non-BJP journalists and other handles on Twitter bravely call out Anjana Om Kashyap
— India Against Fascism (@LiberalMantri) September 22, 2019
It’s really a comment on the Shiv Sena that a leading television anchor who routinely ridicules opposition leaders apologised for a private opinion. It’s also a comment on Indian media. Decency and tolerance has no value for them. Only fear does.
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) September 21, 2019