Hours after #BlockNarendraModi trended on Twitter, BJP’s Information and Technology Cell Head Amit Malviya issued a statement calling the campaign against the Prime Minister “mischievous” and “contorted”.
The #BlockNarendraModi campaign was launched on Twitter in response to the hate that was spewed by trolls, following journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh’s murder. Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows many of these Twitter handles, and the campaign that saw over 1 lakh tweets, was launched with the idea to block the PM until he unfollows the trolls.
The statement issued on Twitter notes that the PM is a “rare leader who truly believes in freedom of speech and has “never blocked or unfollowed someone on Twitter.”
“PM following someone is not a character certificate of a person and is not in anyway a guarantee of how a person would conduct himself,” states Amit Malviya. He then goes on to argue that Modi still follows Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, despite being accused of “loot and fraud” and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who abused him.
Accusing the campaign against the PM of hypocrisy, the IT Cell Head notes that Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are not taken to task for the abusive comments made by their supporters. He concludes by stating, “Thus, this debate is not only farcical and fake, but also an exhibit of selective right to freedom of expression.”
But Twitterati were quick to hit out at Amit’s statement with many pointing out that the BJP leader failed to understand that freedom of expression isn’t hate speech, communal incitement and death threats.
If describing Gauri Lankesh's murder as 'a bitch died a dog's death' is Freedom of speech, why did BJP make events in JNU such a big issue? https://t.co/xnARcFe1tX— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) September 7, 2017
Debunking Malviya’s claim that the PM doesn’t resort to unblocking or unfollowing anyone, activist Pratik Sinha pointed out that the PMO had earlier blocked a twitter account, after she had a fallout with BJP spokesperson Tajjinder Bagga.
Many others were also quick to call out Amit Malviya for his ‘justification’.
Amit bhai my son can give a better justification and explanation than this.— Shana Kauva (@ShaanaKauva) September 7, 2017
He is 3 yrs old and goes to a playschool.#UthaLeReBaba
This is the dumbest whataboutery seen!— Dhukorrr Melo (@plzNoComments) September 7, 2017
Seems only to pander, not correct!
Clarification is worse than the allegation. Sigh!— Shekhar (@shekhardeshkar) September 7, 2017
If you support & don't publicly condemn the trolls then that means you want your follow to give them energy & validation. @BJP4India— Niketa (@nikaytaa) September 8, 2017