'He didn’t call for violence': Kerala FM backs man who made controversial comment on BJP voters

Facebook user Deepak Sankaranarayanan's post on the rape and murder of 8-year-old girl in Kauthua lead to much outrage, and he came under severe social media attack by the right wing.
'He didn’t call for violence': Kerala FM backs man who made controversial comment on BJP voters
'He didn’t call for violence': Kerala FM backs man who made controversial comment on BJP voters
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In a show of solidarity, Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has backed a Facebook user, who has come under social media attack by the right wing. 

The controversy broke out after Facebook user Deepak Sankaranarayanan wrote a post on the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kauthua. 

Deepak Sankaranayanan wrote that the 10 accused in the case were not only the ones responsible for the heinous crime, but that it was carried out with the consent of 31% of the Indian democracy. (BJP's vote share in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 was 31%). 

He wrote: "Justice should prevail even if it means shooting the 31% of people (this is twice the causality during second world war) who supported Hindutva terrorism. Democracy is for every individual, whatever be the number of people standing against it."

However, Deepak's post was soon interpreted as a call for violence and right wing supporters started a mass campaign on social media. Many reached out to his employer, asking him to be sacked, like Vishnu Nandakumar who was sacked by Kotak Mahindra for his comment celebrating the Kathua rape. 

In a Facebook post on Monday, Thomas Isaac hit out at the cyber attack on Deepak, saying that his post was "twisted" and a false propaganda was being unleashed. Calling the social media attack "deplorable" and "completely objectionable," Thomas Isaac wrote:

"Like other issues, Deepak has written several posts on Facebook on the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old-girl in Kathua that has shaken India’s collective conscience. In those posts, he effortlessly argues how a fascist organisation makes a systemic intervention in denying justice, which is the central pillar of India’s democracy, to the marginalised. One of his posts talks about justice being denied to most people of this country by a party that was voted into power with the support of only 31% of the electorate. Sanghis have selectively picked that post, deliberately given it a twisted interpretation and launched a false propaganda against and character assassination of Deepak on Facebook and Twitter."

Thomas Isaac said that the hate campaign against Deepak on social media has also extended to the social media pages of the company he works in and termed it "a violation of his fundamental democratic rights and dirty political vendetta."

He added: "The post in question doesn’t endorse any form of violence. It actually calls upon fellow citizens to uphold the real values of Indian democracy. Those who fail to understand (or pretend to have failed to understand) the essence of the post — defeat the collective political support the Sangh is enjoying in India which has pushed the country to the many problems it faces today, including majoritarian communalism— are behind the propaganda that Deepak has called for violence."

Deepak's post published on April 12 had created much discussion on social media, with several people sharing the same. It was not just Deepak, but professor and activist Deepa Nishanth, who commented on it, also came under attack. 

"Protest until Deepa Nishanth, who said 31% of Hindus must be shot dead, is arrested. 31% of Hindus must unite," reads this post put out by a pro-right wing page.

Senior journalist Stanly Johny wrote, "Deepak hasn't called for any act of violence. It's a rhetorical post with an emphasis on justice against the background of the Kathua incident. I don't think it's difficult to understand, even for Sangh supporters, what he's essentially saying--even the support of the 31% of the electorate for the ruling party should not stand in the way while delivering justice to a single citizen of the republic. That has been twisted as a call for violence and is being used to spread a hate campaign against Deepak, which may cost him his job. What they are actually targeting is the voices of dissent on social networks. This is to conform us all. In solidarity."

Deepak clarifies

Deepak took to Facebook to clarify about his post. 

"In my post, I clearly made a conditional statement. It's that irrespective of the number of people opposing, if at all they oppose the justice being done, then justice should be done. I just cited an extreme case as an example, that too with several impossible conditions to explain the scenario. It's a call for justice, nothing against people. I've always been a democrat, and I continue to be. If anyone genuinely believe that the post is offensive, I urge them to read it again. It's clearly a call for justice for an individual irrespective of the number of people opposing it, which is the very basic of our great constitution. We're a democratic country, not mobocratic," Deepak said in a post on Sunday evening. 

He said that he has withdrawn the post that has been created misunderstanding and that "there are deliberate efforts and misinterpretations around to create confusion." 

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