Sexually offensive messages on social media in the hope to silence opposition is a commonly used modus-operandi by many right-wingers in India, especially against women. Yet, there have been very few instances of action taken against such people who should ideally be prosecuted and put behind bars under various laws for sexual harassment. Moreover, there are many documented cases where people whom PM Modi personally follows on Twitter have been guilty of using sexually explicit language against others. Yet, barring 1-2 instances, none of these offenders whom PM Modi follows have ever been unfollowed. However, a precedent has now been set in UAE where an employer has fired an Indian citizen for using sexually abusive language in a personal message that he had sent to Rana Ayyub’s page on Facebook.
As reported by Gulf News, a man called Bincylal Balachandran has been fired by his employee Alpha Paints for sending the filthy message shown in the screenshot above.
Gulf News reports:
The 31-year-old employee identified as Bincylal Balachandran, from Kerala, joined Alpha Paint in Dubai, a sister company of National Paints in Sharjah, in 2015. He worked as a customer service employee. Balachandran sent an abusive message with sexual overtones to the Indian journalist on Facebook messenger.
Ayyub posted a screenshot of the message on April 6 saying: “Just a sample of the filth I receive on my Facebook page. Time to name and shame this pervert.”
Balachandran’s action angered social media users who took the issue to the company management on April 7.
Shadi Al Refai, human resource manager of the company, told Gulf News that they received the complaint by email on April 7 from a man saying that one of the staff members abused a woman on social media. The email included a copy of the abusive message sent by the Balachandran. “We verified the accuracy of the information and checked on the name of the man. On April 8, at 8 am the termination order of Balachandran issued,” Al Refai said.
While this is a good precedent, will Indian employers also act similarly against their employees who use abusive language on social media against women? At this point of time, it is doubtful considering how many abusive people PM Narendra Modi himself follows on Twitter. At the time of writing, PM Modi personally follows 1698 people on Twitter. A fair few of them are equally abusive and yet are never reprimanded and in fact in some cases even supported by ministers. Here’s a short list of such people, each of which is followed by PM Modi on Twitter.
Union Minister Giriraj SIngh trended a hashtag in support of the above guy and so did many who are from the BJP IT cell or vehemently support PM Modi and BJP on social media.
The screenshot above is a heinous message which is targeting Barkha Dutta and the user proudly declared that he’s tagging her, while the message below is against Aaj Tak anchor Anjana Om Kashyap. What is the common factor? Followed by PM Modi on Twitter.
Some of these people had also been invited to meet the Prime Minister in the PMO. While the post above is by a guy called Suresh Nakhua, the screenshot below is from a person who now is the Delhi BJP Spokesperson. He says “MMS” as in Manmahon Singh “ki betiya” hai, badi “MC” hai. We all know what MC means.
And here’s a man who called the Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, an “a**hole” and a “b*stard”, and that is because of his pure ignorance of the Indian Flag code that a Vice President is not supposed to salute when the President is present. He gets to meet PM Modi in his PMO.
This is a partial list of the ‘esteemed’ people that PM Modi follows on Twitter. If the highest elected official of this country who talks about “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” does nothing about the several abusive people he follows on Twitter, then how do we expect others to act against abusive people on social media?