On Tuesday, Trinamool Congress' (TMC) candidate Sagarika Ghoshe reacted to online criticism directed at her after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to send her to the Rajya Sabha on her party's ticket. Ghoshe defended her old tweets, saying, "she had a 3-year cooling-off period from full-time journalism before taking the plunge into public life."
In the age of social media, a politician or political aspirant must be cautious about what they express publicly. Contradictions in one’s past statements and current actions invite a slew of online trolling. Journalist and now TMC Rajya Sabha candidate Sagarika Ghoshe is facing similar trolling after the West Bengal ruling party announced her candidature for the upper house of parliament.
After remaining silent on the issue, she finally decided to clarify her stance on joining active politics.
Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), she wrote, "My tweet from 6 years ago (2018) is being widely circulated. At the time, I was a working journalist, and yes, it would have been inappropriate for me at that time to switch overnight to party politics. However, in 2020, I ceased to be a full-time journalist, and for the last 3 years…"
"I have, therefore, had a 3-year cooling-off period from full-time journalism before taking the plunge into public life. Today, when an increasingly authoritarian Modi government recognizes no institutional restraints and has almost entirely captured the media, my commitment to constitutional democracy has led me to join the courageous fight of TMC to keep alive democratic spaces and democratic contestation," she added.
After TMC announced Ghose's nomination, several of her old tweet, including the one advising journalists to 'stay away from politics' went viral, with netizens pointing out the irony and calling her hypocrite.
"Journalists, IMHO, shd stay away from politics & loyalty to any political party. Compromising independence is worst thing scribes can do to themselves. Lets strengthen India's civil society, strengthen liberal democracy, work for justice. Let the netas be naked in their hamaam!" Ghose had written in her 2018 tweet.
More About Sagarika Ghose
Ghose has been a prominent figure in Indian media for many years, having contributed to many news organisations like The Times of India, Outlook, The Indian Express, and CNN-IBN.
With a career exceeding 30 years, she is renowned for her extensive expertise in journalism.
Ghose pursued her education at St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi before earning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. She has had a multifaceted career in both print and television media, addressing a wide array of subjects and concerns through her writing and reporting. She is the spouse of renowned journalist and author Rajdeep Sardesai.