Amidst the recent trolling aimed at Sushma Swaraj, a particularly vicious missive (that was later deleted) aimed at the Minister of External Affairs tagged her husband and said: "When she comes home tonight why don't U beat her up & teach her not to do Muslim appeasment tell her Muslims will never ever vote for BJP... who else can teach @SushmaSwaraj a lesson or two...". Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal responded saying the tweet caused "unbearable pain" to his family.
The user, identifying himself as Mukesh Gupta, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi has since deleted his account. According to sources, Twitter had also received several complaints about the tweet, which are being processed, reports have said.
The abusive tweet was targetting the foreign minister over the grant of passport to an inter-faith couple last month. The former Governor of Mizoram on Sunday posted:
"Your words have given us unbearable pain. Just to share with you, my mother died of cancer in 1993. Sushma was an MP and a former Education Minister. She lived in the hospital for a year. She refused to engage a medical attendant and attended on my dying mother personally."
A second tweet read:
"Such was her devotion to the family. As per my father's wish, she lit my father's pyre. We adore her. Please do not use such words for her. We are first generation in law and politics. We pray for nothing more than her life. Pls convey my profound regards to your wife."
Sushma has come under tremendous online abuse since the passport controversy, following with the external affairs minister conducted a poll on Twitter asking users whether they "approve" such trolling. Fifty-seven percent respondents said they oppose it.
Tweets criticising the ministry's action to grant a passport to the couple and transferring the official without holding a proper enquiry began to grow subsequently, and soon turned into abuse targeting Sushma personally.
In the poll, which was conducted for 24 hours after Sushma initiated on Saturday night, 1,24,305 Twitter users took part, with 57 percent respondents backing her, while 43 percent supporting the trolls. After the poll, Swaraj tweeted:
In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 1, 2018
She also tweeted a few lines by Hindi poet Neeraj to emphasise her point. Sushma, who has been retweeting some of the offensive tweets directed at her over the transfer of Passport Seva Kendra official Vikas Mishra in Lucknow for allegedly humiliating the interfaith couple, began the Twitter poll asking people whether such trolling was fine. "Friends : I have liked some tweets. This is happening for the last few days. Do you approve of such tweets? Please RT," she tweeted. Politicians come out in support for Sushma Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also said she was horrified by the "vicious" trolling of Swaraj on social media and described it as outrageous. Swaraj had earlier retweeted some of the tweets of that person. Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal tweeted to Kaushal and said:
Sir, pl don’t explain to these people. Everyone knows who is controlling them and from where it is coming. Its politics. But sad part is that politics has become sooooo dirty. Our best wishes to ur family https://t.co/qmOZx587VY — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 1, 2018
This came just days after Swaraj was trolled and abused on Twitter over the controversy involving the issuance of passport to the interfaith couple. Mishra was transferred from Lucknow to Gorakhpur after the couple alleged that he humiliated them when they went to the office with their passport applications.
According to the couple, Mishra asked the husband to convert to Hinduism and pulled up the wife for marrying a Muslim. Mishra had said in his defence that he was secular and had told the woman that her 'nikahnama' showed her name as Shazia Anas, which should be endorsed in her file.
A section of social media had attacked Swaraj and the ministry for taking action against Mishra, claiming that he was just doing his duty. The minister had taken it on the chin and retweeted some of the tweets that were even abusive and communal in nature.
Asked whether the Ministry of External Affairs is contemplating any action against trolls, Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said last week that, "The EAM (External Affairs Minister) has responded to those malicious tweets and the trolling which she was subjected to in her own way and in a manner which she deemed fit. I don't think I have anything further to add on that."
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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2018 08:34:51 IST