Skip to main content

Sushma Swaraj blocks Twitter accounts critiquing her, becomes "most popular female leader" on social media

By Our Representative
India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has begun blocking individual twitter accounts, which give a negative feedback about all that she does or believes. The last to be blocked is well-known Ahmedabad-based young academic Pravin Mishra after he made a scathing reply to her suggestion that, next time when fellow Indians meet an African, they should shake hands and say “I love you.”
In his reply on Twitter, Mishra (@mishra_pravin) said, “Sure madam, also do appeal to fellow bhakts: Next time you meet a Muslim or a Dalit, please shake hand and say 'India loves you'.” This, apparently, outraged Swaraj, who immediately blocked Mishra “from following @SushmaSwaraj and viewing @SushmaSwaraj’s tweets.”
Reporting on the development, Mishra said in a Facebook post, “Ironically, during the UPA rule, she served as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. So much of tolerance in Modi raj! Heil, Mein F├╝hrer!”
Modi critics refer to “bhakts” a group of his diehard supporters, who often flood offensive comments on his critics on the social media. Reports say, there an army of ‘bhakts’ employed across India to do the job.
Blocked on June 8, Mishra’s is not the only twitter account that has been blocked by Swaraj for what may appear to her to be an offensive reaction. She blocked yet another account on June 7.
Reacting sharply to her tweet on shaking hands with Africans, Sam John David (@samiei1) – a post-graduate in control and instrumentation engineering, who calls himself “plural, liberal, secular”, and hails from Tamil Nadu – said: “Madam, remember your racist comment on Sonia Gandhi? What moral authority you have advise other people, when yourself have bigotry?”
The reference is to Swaraj, in a heavily publicized and emotionally charged episode following the 2004 elections when the Congress was set to form the government, threatened to shave her head, don a white saree and eat groundnuts (symbolically mourning) if Sonia, the Italian-born Congress leader, became prime minister.
In another tweet, posted on June 7, David said, “Madam what happened to Lalit Modi humanitarian tourism? Any actions?” Soon thereafter, Sam got a message similar to that of Mishra: That he has been “blocked” from following and viewing @SushmaSwaraj tweets.
Interesting though it may seem, while Swaraj’s tweet on shaking hands with Africans was retweeted by more than 6,700 persons, Mishra’s tweet was retweeted by just about 360 persons. As for David’s tweet, it was not retweeted by anyone, at least till June 8 afternoon.
While it may be difficult to fathom what could be the reason behind Swaraj blocking her critics like this, reports say, she is not in news during the period when Modi is on a whirlwind foreign tour, starting on June 4 and ending on June 10. In fact, a report said, she has been “conspicuously absent” from all the promotional campaigns carried out by the BJP to celebrate her two years in office.
Swaraj’s office reportedly informed the BJP president’s office that she was “not keen on giving interviews or calling a press conference to list her achievements.” A report said, she began “distancing” herself from the media about four years ago, when she was the high profile Opposition Leader in the Lok Sabha. 
Meanwhile, reports have begun appearing in a section of the media that Swaraj is “the most followed female world leader with 5.21 million followers at 10th spot, ahead of Jordan’s @QueenRania who has 4.7 million followers.
Before Modi left on his foreign tour, Swaraj met the family of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Olivier, a 23-year-old post-graduate student in Delhi, who is said to have been beaten to death by a group of men in a brawl over an autorickshaw ride. She refused to accept the killing as a racist attack.
"These were not premeditated acts against a particular community, rather these were spontaneous attacks perpetrated by anti-social and criminal elements,” she said.
Even as Modi reached US, Swaraj took to Twitter to “thank” Qatar for releasing 23 Indian prisoners “on the request of the Prime Minister.” She also thanked Modi, “who visited the nation a few days ago, for his cooperation.”

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.

Noteban: Harvard, Goldman Sachs scholars bemoan lack of "authentic" growth data

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp observation, scholars of a recent high-profile study, "Cash and the Economy: Evidence from India's Demonetization", whose results have been widely reported, have bemoaned: That there is lack of authentic official data on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the Government of India, forcing them to use “nightlights data”, a methodology usually adopted by top international scholars to assess socio-economic growth in highly underdeveloped countries of East Africa and parts of Asia, where no authentic ground level surveys are available to assess development.