From shock to support, netizens war over Varun Gandhi
Some say "it's a shame", others hail him as a "one man army". Cyberworld is flooded with extreme reactions to Varun Gandhi's allegedly communal speeches in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, with people expressing anger as well as support for the young BJP candidate.delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2009 17:06 IST
Some say "it's a shame", others hail him as a "one man army".
Cyberworld is flooded with extreme reactions to Varun Gandhi's allegedly communal speeches in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, with people expressing anger as well as support for the young Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate.
Barely hours later the TV news channels aired parts of the inflammatory and anti-Muslim hate speeches that were attributed to Gandhi, the video was uploaded on the popular public-viewing forum, YouTube, inviting thousands of hits overnight and a flood of comments.
For one of the many uploaded videos of his speech, there were 30,000 hits and more than a thousand comments.
“I can't believe this guy (Varun) is a product of the London School of Economics! What a pity. If such is the thought process of a well-educated, young politician like him, I can well imagine where Indian politics is headed to - down the drains,” read an angry comment by Ashmita Jain.
Aayan Sharif, a blogger, wrote: “Cutting hands, as if! Here people are dying of hunger and suffering because of unemployment, but the breed like Varun Gandhi's is not bothered about that! Survival is the issue with more than half the country today Mr Gandhi, not your narrow minded communal opinions!”
Some went on to compare Varun with his cousin and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, as both are the greatgrandsons of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"Learn something from your cousin, Rahul (Gandhi). I can't believe both are from the same line of blood! It's a shame that he's the great grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, who championed secularism,” wrote Avika Mehra, a student, in her blog.
Another blogger wrote: "If he is a true Hindu that he claims he is, then he should work for their and others' upliftment. Poverty, literacy and employment - there are enough issues for him to work for a lifetime instead of brainwashing poor uneducated people on petty politics."
The 29-year-old poltical novice has shocked everyone, including many in his own party which has distanced itself from the young leader. He has himself claimed that the CD containing his speeches was doctored and the voice is not his.
But if there are voices against him, there are hundreds of others supporting the “other” Gandhi scion.
“What wrong has Varun done? He was simply talking about protecting his own religion. Every Hindu should support him,” read one comment on YouTube.
On popular social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook, there are several communities being created to bring together Varun Gandhi fans.
On one such forum in Orkut, a fan wrote: “Varun Gandhi is a one man army with a lot of capabilities to lead the nation. Whatever he said was the truth, and finally somebody has had enough courage to do that."
In another forum on Facebook, “Varun Gandhi: the Bold Hero”, the moderator went on to say he is the only eligible member of the bloodline of Nehru.
“Varun Gandhi is a true Indian and is the future prime minister of the country. He is the hero of the youth. Let's welcome him with open arms. Jai Hind!” the moderator wrote.
And not just that. Some of the videos of Varun Gandhi's speech, uploaded on Youtube, has also been made mobile compatible so that you can see it in your cell phones.
A comment on one such video which can be viewed on mobile phone screens read: “He (Varun) is the future face of the BJP. His confidence at the tender age of 29 is amazing. Let's support him”.
The Election Commission on Wednesday directed that all rallies of Varun Gandhi be video tracked and also served notices on him and the BJP over the alleged hate speeches.
First Published: Mar 19, 2009 16:57 IST