Rajat Sharma

My Journey

  • 1957

    I was born in Sabzi Mandi, Delhi. I had seven siblings – six brothers and one sister, and imagine all nine of us including our parents sharing a 100 square feet room which we called home. Every day was a struggle for us. We did not have the luxury of running water or electricity.

  • 1963-1971

    I went to Sanatan Dharm Middle School. At night, I would study under the lamp post on the Sabzi Mandi railway station. I knew the only way to fight my poverty was to study hard and make my life worth living. And fortunately, I was good in studies.

  • 1971-1974

    I joined Ramjas School in Karol Bagh and had to walk to school every day from Sabazi Mandi.

  • 1974-1980

    I attended Shriram College of Commerce. While paying my fee, a senior offered help. That senior is India’s former Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. We got talking and this formed the basis of a bond that has only strengthened over the years. I am quite indebted to Arun for having guided me in so many ways.

  • 1974

    I joined the JP Movement. I was strongly inclined towards debating. My oratory skills came very handy once when I doubled up as the warm up speaker for Jayaprakash Narayan or JP, as he was fondly called then, during one of his memorable meetings at Maurice Nagar Chowk near Delhi University.

  • 1975

    When Emergency was imposed, I spent 11 unforgettable months in Tihar Jail. The year 1977 was a vindication of sorts for all of us; when Indira Gandhi was voted out of power.

  • 1977

    At the DUSU elections, my close friend and current Rajya Sabha MP of BJP, Vijay Goel got elected as the President and I got elected as the General Secretary. Politics actually became a passion for all of us and cutting across political lines, some of us became fast friends.

  • 1982

    I started my journalism career with Onlooker as a Trainee Reporter. I wrote my first story for the Onlooker, a fortnightly magazine and was paid Rs300 for it.

  • 1984

    I got promoted as a Chief of Bureau in 1984 and as an Editor in 1985. Most people in the journalistic circle kept judging me by my age.

  • 1987

    I started working as an Editor at Sunday Observer.

  • 1989

    I worked as an Editor of The Daily till 1992.

  • 1992

    It was a casual conversation with Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Zee Network, and Gulshan Grover when the idea of an interview in the format of an “adalat” was mooted. Days later, Subhash Ji called me and requested for a detailed brief of the “adalat” kind of interview.

  • 1993

    In February, we shot the first episode for Aap Ki Adalat with Lalu Prasad Yadav. And, on March 14, 1993, the first episode was aired. The second episode was with Khushwant Singh. This was followed by T N Seshan and Kapil Dev.

  • 1995

    We launched India’s first private television news bulletin. And 2 years later, my wife Ritu and I decided to set up our own production house – Independent News Service (INS). In fact, this is the parent company which owns India TV.

  • 2004

    India TV News channel was launched. Tarun Tejpal, Maneka Gandhi and Madhu Kishwar were roped in. I received lot of accolades for the serious content of the channel.

  • 2008

    After a lot of struggle, we achieved a whopping 120% revenue growth. In fact our catchy and screeching headlines soon caught the attention of others and even English channels

  • 2010

    We shifted to our new office at Noida Express way. I can proudly say we have one of the best studios in India with state-of-the-art-technology.

  • 2013

    We revamped our channel’s logo and the overall look and feel. When I look back, I often wonder if this is all a dream; I feel happy that I no longer have to make any more compromises to stay on top.

  • 2014

    I had an iconic Interview with Mr. Narendra Modi just before the General elections. And this episode broke all TRP rating records of TV news viewership. 74 per cent Hindi news television viewers in India watched this interview. This was totally unprecedented!

  • 2014

    On 2nd Dec, we celebrated 21 glorious years of Aap ki Adalat. It was a grand event graced by the President, Prime Minister, the 3 Khans of Bollywood – SRK, Aamir and Salman apart from other senior leaders from the political spectrum, top industry voices, and eminent social activists.