MP Barry Gaardner, Nidhi Razdan and Sexist venom on social media

It’s not easy being a woman, one is tempted to ask. It’s even more difficult to be a woman journalist and NDTV‘s Nidhi Razdan learned it the hard way last week, following her interview with controversial British MP Barry Gardner. It is shame that we have lost the charm to put across our argument and we resort to cheap, vile and sexist attacks when we disagree with somebody. Yet! Nidhi Razdan was just doing her work as a TV journalist.

For those who came late, Barry Gardner invited Gujarat Chief Minister to address the House of Commons and Nidhi only quizzed her on the reason for inviting the controversial ‘Prime Minister in waiting.’ Another reminder, Britain imposed a ten-year diplomatic ban on Modi for the Gujarat Pogrom.

Perhaps, Mr Gaardner would do well to read the most respected newspaper in his own country, Guardian to refresh his memories and also to the Indians of the likes of Mahesh Murthy on the facts.

What followed was a shameless and cheap Tweet and Wall post by Pinstorm founder, Mahesh Murthy on his Facebook page, “Today’s Delhi rape case: of @NidhiRazdanNDTV / Congress, by Brit MP Barry Gardiner,” What follows were insulting remarks on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter and it is sick how people were making personal attacks on Nidhi Razan. The Modi-Bhakts just piled on her and, oblivious of facts, they hailed Mr Gardner as an articulate MP who schooled Nidhi. Get a chill pill! It was not an insult and the MP attempted to thwart the journalist effort by employing defense mechanism ploy.

It makes sense to ask Mr Gaardner on the change of heart of the British government, vis-a-vis, Narendra Modi. ”  There has never been a boycott of any Indian politician of any party. And that should be quite clear to all of you,” the MP defends himself. Pathetic lies, agressive Mr Gaardner. More shameful is the fact that Mr Gaardner gives lesson to a foreign country and Indians on how they should respect the Supreme Court judgement who exonerated Modi. Well! Mr Gaardner, do your homework properly.

QUOTE…It seems you have no respect for your own Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of India has looked at those allegations, I believe, on a number of occasions. And has absolved Mr Narendra Modi completely from those allegations. For you to be bringing them up on Indian television is extraordinarily strange…

….You are very very keen to talk over me rather than conduct an interview. But if you think democracy is best served by not observing the views and judgments of your own Supreme Court then I am most surprised.” UNQUOTE

It’s strange, Mr Gaardner how you claim to be so well-versed with the hearing of Indian SC and I don’t think you are the right person to give lessons. It’s your belief.  We believe you are a controversial British MP.  It is beyond my reasoning that you should teach a country what they should or not take into account before electing a future PM. So,you are teaching lessons and certainly, credit goes to Gaardner who went for the kill. It is shocking that the great pearl of wisdom is telling Indians to shut the fuck off on Godhra where Indian citizens, women and children were brutally murdered for belonging to a particular community. Mr Gaardner would do well to read, Tehelka Gujarat Pogrom. You are clueless, Mr Gaardner! There is something called

The only fault of Nidhi is that she let the British MP gain an upper edge on her and never fully recovers herself . Instead, she should have asked Mr Gaardner, ‘Is it true that the Brits are having a change of heart because Modi’s stock has brightened up like Gold in Indian politics and whether UK is most concerned of the financial crisis affecting their economy?  Secondly, Gaardner is representative of a whole Indian community of business people composed of 51 per cent Asia and over 30 per cent Hindu in North Bent. Now, Mr Gaardner is questioning the patriotism of an Indian citizen and respected journalist from NDTV.

What is even more shameful are the Indians who are questioning the integrity of Nidhi Razdan by insulting her on social networking sites. The sexist remarks leveled against Nidhi Razdan is condemnable and is done in bad taste. Fine, she may not have framed her questions in the cutting-edge fashion and some reference of a ‘botched-up’ interview may hold but why the personal insults?! As a nation, India need to define itself and the problem is that we don’t need to define ourselves in terms of what Americans or the West do. Supreme Court or no Supreme Court judgement, a large chunk of the Indian population still question Modi’s role in the Gujarat pogrom. Mind you! It is not just Muslims who question the PM-in waiting!

Ok! Fine! One may argue that the journalist may not have done her homework properly and was perhaps in a rush to nail, Mr Gaardner. But, that’s not reason enough to get personal through sexist venom and attack her integrity or insult her on social networking sites. I have worked as a reporter and I think I have miles to go before I put into question the professional integrity, track record and capability of Nidhi Razdan. There have been instances where politicians have been aggressive with me and I lost my balance. Fine! We are humans but nobody gives you the right to call me dumb or intellectually inferior. Such uncalled aggressive stance and empty threats comes mostly from mediocre politicians. I rest my case.

PS: After much thought I decided to blogged about the controversy of the British MP VS Nidhi Razdan. I shall leave you with this link:




  1. I might be completely oblivious to the facts but there is quite part wrong on both ends. Being a journalist and a strong one termed as one following barkha dutts footsteps she should be able to make the interview hers rather than allowing others to take over the leadership there. Ofcourse its not that easy but she does have good experience to come at that level.
    And instead of insisting that Modi is bad in any way she should have given her questions in way so that it dosent appear we Indians hate our system and dont believe it all alteast when talking to foreigners .. wat say..

    • I fully agree with you, Sagarika. One can hold it against Nidhi that she let the turf slip away from her. Unfortunately, the British MP over powered her. Of course, the impression she gave was debatable and it’s giving a wrong impression. I agree with you. However, I condemn the vile and sexist venom spelled against her and the name calling. Just because she is a woman. Like today, a women photo-journo was raped and high time we change our attitudes and horrifying the way we men are educated. I seek forgiveness from women as a man with my hands folded.

  2. I’ve been out of India for a few years. It was only in the past few months that I have really ever watched Indian TV. I became a regular watcher of Left, Right and Center, just because I found Nidhi Razdan’s style most interviewing compared to many others’ aggressive styles – she comes across as gentle and polite, but at the same time quite sharp and firm. She quite smartly and sportively handles aggressive speakers and appears very balanced in her position. I googled to read up on her because I was impressed by her – that is when I came across this incident – I was shocked to see how one small event can overshadow a person’s hard earned career. Anyway, to add my two cents – I just didn’t understand the framing of her as losing the turf. In fact, it was Gardiner who appears very uncouth in his comments. I have seen many Indian politicians from all parties who despite being cross-questioned badly are very polite. Nidhi seems to have handled him pretty coolly in her characteristic polite and firm style. She literally laughed off his comments and sounded patronizing to him. I suspect we just got used to aggressive styles and feel the milder styles as being submissive. I don’t think it is fair to compare one journalist to the other in terms of styles. I was in fact taken aback at the audacity of the MP to tell an Indian journalist (and to Indians) what they should and should not talk about, for a moment I felt it came out of a inherent colonial attitude of superiority. You have written very well – I hadn’t thought about the gender dimension too. Or perhaps the culture difference in talking styles was the culprit that rattled Gardiner. From my experience, there certainly is a difference between Indian and Western styles in terms of talking over, addressing etc. which might have made him perceive her as rude and therefore take recourse to the attack mode, or may be he was just feeling guilty so he wanted to use the attack mode instead of defense. I am not at all a fan of Nidhi Razdan, I just felt bad after reading volumes of venom poured on her for one small silly incident. I wonder if it is because our colonial psyche gives too much weight to what a British man says. By the way, thanks much for giving an alternative view on the matter.

    • Hi, Prabha and welcome here for appreciating my perspective on the whole issue..Ur comment went to spam and when I saw the comment at first I didn’t bother coz of the threat and insults Pro-Modi people were sending. It’s only when I read it, I realized its not hate comment or venom. I mean, its really sad how its sad how Gaardner appeared as cheap and using defense mechanism by upping his voice, verging on insult. Credit goes to Nidhi for maintaining calm. Well, observed and u made a fair point about comparing aggressive stand on the part of journos. This is what shocked me when the British man, whose psyche is deeply ingrained in colonialism, to tell us what we should argue and it prompted the past. Equally shameful are the Indians who sparked venom, read Modi-fier to applaud the man. I, mean, I appreciate her skills as a journalist and feel it sad how venom was poured on someone doing her job. Thanks, Prabha and that’s how I feel. I mean, its totally regrettable and shocking.

      • Vishal, I’m not sure if we even watched the same interview, Nidhi starts her interview with criticising the PM again and again and calling him a controversial figure, she used the word controversial more than 20 times in the interview. Every time the minister talked she talked over him, it didn’t seem like she invited him to give his views rather to make sure he hears her views.
        It is embarrassing to watch journalists like her with a strong opinion which is totally biased, spew nonsense and dangerous because they have a platform to scream from. She made the whole country look stupid and gave the impression we have no respect for the supreme court. A journalist should be reporting news and creating news.
        If I was the minister I would have come out even more strongly against her. Please don’t defending idiots who shame us on international media with their stupidity.

  3. Nidhi Razdan is a popular journalist and television personality in India. She is the anchor of NDTV 24×7 news channel that covers debates and discussions. She started her career in 1999 and hosted various news events and hosted several television series.

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