After the advent of social media and with almost all celebrities, journalists and politicians regularly interacting with the public on Twitter, the followers of right and left liberal ideologies have got a new platform to vent their anger, contempt and despise for each other. Undoubtedly, twitter wars have witnessed a lot of hatred and on many occasions, the arguments have been distasteful and downright indecent. The recent tragedy in Ryan School is a classic example. While the left wingers alleged that Ryan School has always been a BJP supporter, the right alleged that Ryan is a Christian school. When a school going child has been killed brutally, such arguments are definitely insensitive and not in good taste.
While both the sides have twitter warriors who hit below the belt by using foul language and expletives, the one thing that stands out is that the left liberals are also adept at playing the victim card and taking the moral high ground. The term ‘trolling’ has been invented by the liberals to paint the entire right in bad picture. Swati Chaturvedi’s book ‘I am a troll’ talks about the so-called BJP troll army and alleges that PM Modi is at the helm of affairs of the troll army. Her core argument is that PM Modi follows twitter handles of people who use not very civil language in their twitter interactions. So if the PM follows a person who abuses someone from the left, how does the PM become responsible for it?
Many of the liberals have mentioned in their profiles that retweets are not endorsements. When they cannot stand by something they themselves retweet, how can the PM be held responsible for a tweet by a person he merely follows? Rana Ayyub went to the extent of getting a person in Middle East fired for using abusive language. Sagarika Ghose recently played the victim card by lodging a police complaint against a person who gave death threats to her and some of the other left supporting journalists and activists. When ex cricketer Virender Sehwag disapproved of Gurmehar Kaur’s tweet that war killed her father and not Pakistan in his inimitable style, he was severely criticized by the left. Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt , Priyanka Chaturvedi, Kavita Krishnan, Nidhi Razdan and a host of journalists and politicians have often complained about the indecency of the right.
However, the fact is that the left also has been equally (if not more) abusive. Veteran Congressman Digvijaya Singh recently retweeted a post that talks about the two achievements of PM Modi. The post had expletives that cannot be termed decent by any stretch of imagination. However this post did not trigger the kind of outrage from the supposedly neutral and decent journalists, who are generally the first to point out the trolling by the right wingers.
Rana Ayyub reluctantly tweeted that Digvijaya’s tweet was not in good taste, but so was Modi’s raincoat jibe at the former PM Manmohan Singh. There was nothing indecent about Modi’s jibe at the former PM and he only highlighted that Manmohan Singh, despite being honest, did not want to stop the humongous corruption that took place during UPA-2. This is not the first time that Digvijaya Singh has been abusive. In almost all his tweets, he speaks ill about the RSS, the PM and Amit Shah. He has called the PM feku in the past and was not criticized for his language. Why don’t the neutral journalists and guardians of decency call out Digvijaya Singh for that particular tweet of his? Or when the liberals use foul language, is it okay and one must not make a big deal out of it?
Digvijaya Singh’s tweet is not an isolated case of abusive tweets from the liberals. Another Congressi Shehzad Poonawala was crude and vulgar in the way he abused the then HRD Minister Smriti Irani. If one looks at the language used by Sanjukta Basu, the right wingers would not be able to emulate her in crassness even if they want to.
Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal did not use very civil language when he referred to the PM as a coward and psychopath. Kavita Krishnan has also made some very personal attacks on the PM accusing him of stalking women. The boxer of Madison Rajdeep Sardesai, one of the strongest proponents of civil debates and discussion, has also used cuss words on twitter. Ditto with Rana Ayyub. The Twitter India chief Raheel Khurshid has also abused PM Modi in one of his tweets. Gauri Lankesh, who was killed recently and was made out to be a martyr by the left, was no less abusive in her language and her posts were filled with hatred for the PM, the RSS and Brahmins. If one looks at things in totality, the women who are abused the most on Twitter are Madhu Kishwar, Smriti Irani and Shefali Vaidya, women who lean towards the right.
To conclude, the narrative that is being created by the liberals that the right wing is full of trolls, that they are part of a troll army chaired by none other than the PM Modi himself holds no ground. But they are losing again. They couldn’t dent PM Modi’s Popularity. Ravish Kumar’s 10 Min Long Rant was met with rebuttals from ordinary people. Opposition’s #BlockModi campaign was a colossal disaster as PM Modi ended up gaining almost 1 Lac more followers overnight. Gauri Lankesh case that erupted like a volcano on Day 1, soon fizzled out as soon as her bitter-sweet relations with naxal leaders came to the fore. Ram Chandra Guha was slapped a legal notice for his baseless allegations. In Short, The left was trounced by PM Modi again. Funny thing, PM Modi never even lifted his little finger.
The Indian liberals are the same ones who encourage free speech in all forms, freedom of expression and go all out to support shows like AIB, which is full of crass jokes that hardly evoke any laughter, but when they are the targets of abuse and foul language, all hell breaks loose and they do what they are best at: playing the victim card and taking the moral high ground. You cannot have it both ways. When you fight for complete freedom of expression, then you must also be prepared to face abuse yourselves. We live in the age of AIB, where decency is not a virtue anymore and abusing and using cuss words are considered to be cool and progressive. The liberals must accept that they also have twitter warriors in the ranks who hit below the belt. When they accuse the right of being trolls, it only exposes their double standards, a trait that one must mandatorily possess in order to be referred to as a liberal.