“Hope you all remember what happened in 2002”. A news report about a Muslim doctor and his Hindu compounder spreading message of peace in violence-hit Basirhat has angered a BJP youth leader to go on a communal rant and threaten violence. There is nothing offensive in the news posted by Hindustan Times on its Facebook page but for some reason, Srinivas Raghavan, the General Secretary of a BJP Yuva Morcha has taken great offence to it.
Reacting to HT report on a doctor’s appeal for communal harmony, Raghavan said, “I remember what Mahatma Gandhi did. Enough is enough. We will not tolerate this anymore. Hope you all remember what happened in 2002.” When confronted by other users, he continued his rant, talking of “warning you guys”, “go back to your mother country”, “we are waiting to take revenge” (of 17th century rulers), “the day is not too far”, and so on.
In his Facebook profile, Raghavan describes himself as a “charismatic go-getter” and a “believer in making India great again”. His page is full of pictures with senior BJP leaders.
Not the first time
It is shocking to see a youth leader of India’s ruling party spewing hate on social media and threatening violence. Or maybe it is not so shocking, after all. This is not the first time. There have been instances in the past where BJP supporters have called for a 2002 like massacre. Many feel ‘proud’ of 2002 and have no qualms about expressing it publicly on social media.
Tathagata Roy, the present Governor of Tripura and the former president of the West Bengal state unit of BJP from 2002 till 2006 had stated on Twitter about ‘appreciating what the Hindus did in 2002’.
Hate speech coming from Sangh leaders in not a one-off incident. RSS Mahanagar Prachar Pramukh of Ujjain Kundan Chandrawat in a speech earlier this year, boasted about killing 2000 Muslims in Gujarat and offered a bounty of 1 crore for bringing him Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijaya’s head.
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 2, 2017
In 2015, Amitesh Singh, who was followed by Prime Minister Modi on Twitter went a step further and actually gave call for a massacre. Singh was arrested over his tweet and has since disabled his account. In his twitter profile, Singh claimed to be vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yuva Morcha but the party denied any association with him. As per news reports, Singh was the grandson of a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh.
HDL India, yet another hate spewing Hindutva handle, called to turn UP into Gujarat to save it from turning into Kashmir. The @HDLIndiaOrg account is now suspended
The GodhraAgain rumor in 2015 was also started by @HDLIndiaOrg. The handle was also one of the select few followed by Prime Minister Modi on Twitter.
This is not all. There are several others who have made similar references to 2002 Gujarat riots.
In recent times we have seen Facebook posts and WhatsApp forwards result in lynching and riots. We have seen morphed pictures, doctored videos, rumours and now direct instigation and threats by a BJP youth leader. While the party may not take exception to incendiary words of its Youth Morcha leader, police and local authorities must keep a watch on such individuals for their role in instigating violence.
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