Even as AIMIM Spokesperson Waris Pathan is being cornered on all sides — his actions have been condemned even by those supporting the CAA protests, and he’s been made to issue an apology — he’s still being defended by one man.
After Waris Pathan’s statement, in which he’d said that “15 crore would dominate 100 crore” had gone viral, Rajdeep Sardesai sent out the following tweet. “In the 2019 assembly polls, Waris Pathan lost by more than 50,000 votes. People rejected him, TV/social media will now prop him up for making inflammatory remarks. Reject all those who speak language of religions extremism,” he pontificated. “Deny them the publicity they so desperately crave!”
Rajdeep seemed to be hinting that Waris Pathan was a virtual nobody, so the media and social media users should ignore his hate speech. To prove how insignificant Waris Pathan was, Rajdeep claimed that he’d lost the 2019 assembly polls by “more than 50,000 votes.” This, however, is a complete lie.
In the 2019 Maharashtra elections, Waris Pathan had fought under an AlMIM ticket, and had 31,157 votes polled for him. The election was won by Yamini Yashwant Jadhav of the Shiv Sena who had polled 51180 votes. Waris Pathan, therefore, had lost by only 20,023 votes, which is a far lower margin than the “more than 50,000 votes” that Rajdeep Sardesai had quoted in his tweet.
Also, it’s not as though Waris Pathan is a nobody — in the previous Assembly election in 2014, he had won from the same Byculla seat and had been elected an MLA.
Also, Rajdeep’s exhortation to ignore people who make extremists statements to “deny them the oxygen of publicity” doesn’t hold much water. Rajdeep himself has often interviewed people with alleged extremist views on his TV program. Before the 2019 elections, Sardesai had hosted a segment called “Sadhvi Pragya threat”, and had wondered if “BJP was playing the politics of Hindu Extremism.”
Also, after Sadhvi Pragya’s statements on Godse, Rajdeep had again dedicated a whole segment to what she’d said.
Also, it’s not as though Rajdeep only holds debates when people are famous — when a Muslim man had been allegedly thrashed by a Hindu for Love Jihad, Rajdeep didn’t seek to not give them “the oxygen of publicity”, but aired a whole segment on his show.
Interestingly, when a former AIMIM MLA makes a hateful and communal statement, far from holding debates on his channel, Rajdeep not only lies to make him appear insignificant by exaggerating his margin of defeat in the polls, but also asks other media channels and social media users to ignore his statements. If this isn’t blatant hypocrisy and favouritism to shied a community, while making all efforts to make another community look bad, we don’t know what it is.