When Modi fans give their support onto any social media platform, they are unceremoniously touted as trolls and Bhakts. When the anti Modi bandwagon vents its tirade, they assume the identity of intellectual liberals. The country today may be seemingly polarized with respect to PM Modi and now this online keyboard battle of sorts is spilling on to BJP’s newest sensation, CM Yogi.
Elevation of Yogi Adityanath as UP CM was a double blow for the liberals and the intelligentsia. The naysayers had just woken up to a phenomenal BJP numbers of 325 and Yogi coronation was like putting a cherry atop a saffron surge that castigated hopes of a miraculous BJP doldrum in the key state elections. The liberal media with the likes of Barkha and Sagarika went amok calling his anointment as an emergence of the ‘fringe’ into the mainstream. The same was echoed by Lutyens insiders such as Fali Nariman who called it the beginning of the establishment of the Hindu state.
But some so called celebs went very much overboard to hit below the belt. In a democracy, a healthy dissent is an essence and there cannot be any doubts about it. Editor turned film maker husband of choreographer Farah Khan broke all the shackles of decency with his remarks on CM Yogi in a series of tweets where his analogues and comparisons were off the mark and quite degrading. Shirish Kunder is known for his controversial tweets or outbursts and was even slapped by a Bollywood superstar for misbehaviour. Previously in 2016, Shirish Kunder had also vented his ire over PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’. After his anti Yogi tweets became viral and a wholly of subsequent backlashes washed all over, an FIR was lodged. Fearing the eminent fallout from the same, Kunder had to apologise for his tweets. The tweets lacked substance and taste and even compared CM Yogi to a goon.
The brigade of liberalism and freedom of speech started their usual decibels of caution and banning of self-expression. It is important to note that the quality of the content tweeted by Kunder had broken all forms of basic decency. When the Indian contingent in the Olympics were engrossed in picking medals, another Twitter celeb named Shobha De had tweeted a shocking comment about Olympians which could have dented their morale. Sometimes celebs in the form of Shirish Kunder or De try to portray themselves as expert observers of some lucrative top echelon of societal class. Although not exactly Lutyens, these elements on social media can be bracketed as a poor clone of the same.
Along with a deep-rooted hatred, such so called celebs also harbour a deep sense of desire to remain under spotlight and limelight at the expense of an important trending person in the internet at the time. His unceremonious tweets nevertheless, did invite the ensuing wrath of major sections of the Twitter who lambasted his conduct. Most of his views on politics in the past have received a considerable flak for his half baked knowledge and know how.
His disgraceful tweets came at a time when CM Yogi in his first week as an administrator has taken certain revolutionary steps. Apart from asking ministers to declare assets, he also has taken controversial decisions like closing illegal slaughter houses. This has irked some major sections of the liberal media and a part of that gets converted to silliness on to the Twitter world.
There was a growing resentment about an FIR being lodged against Shirish Kunder and if it could threaten liberty and the means to express views. This will be especially given a lot of air since noises of intolerance and clampdown by the state is highlighted particularly in a BJP administered state. People have been arrested before during the rule of the UPA for writing opinion against Thackeray or even Congress leader Chidambaram. However, those tweets of Shirish Kunder had trespassed all imaginary lines of appropriateness against an elected representative. It is very paradoxical as the Yogi is questioned by the same elite so called celeb groups of making controversially religious comments but they are adhering to the same accused demeanor.
Shirish Kunder also somewhere belongs to that ‘Hindu’ phobic starlet group which spews venom against a certain class of right wing politicians. We have seen Mahesh Bhatt in the past and many other celebs who have harboured a certain bias against right wing parties. Anything connected with a leftist outlook or Congress is met with a studded silence. When Chidambaram episode happened and one person dissenting (he had not written anything objectionable) on social media was charged, the draconian high handedness of UPA was not voiced anywhere by these so called celebs.
Although not much footage is supposed to be given for spurious so called celebs, it’s necessary to emphasise the responsibility public figures need to subscribe. The definition of troll may be manipulated to suit liberal mainstream media’s agenda but people like Shirish Kunder are perfectly synonymous with the word.