Here’s why #BlockNarendraModi was trending on Twitter
A Twitter hashtag, #BlockNarendraModi, calling for users to block Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the social media platform was trending on Thursday after reports that he followed handles posting abusive content about journalist Gauri Lankesh who was murdered in Bengaluru.
The 55-year-old journalist, a known critic of the right-wing Hindutva ideology, was shot dead by unidentified attackers outside her house on Tuesday night.
Her killing has triggered shock and anger across the country, with protests in many cities. However, there were many who made offensive remarks against Lankesh over her left-leaning views.
Nikhil Dadhich, who calls himself a “Hindu Nationalist” and is followed by Modi on Twitter, called the slain Kannada journalist-activist “a bitch” who deserved to die.
The tweet has now been deleted from his Twitter profile.
Fact-checking website Alt News reported about several other accounts, some of which were followed by the PM, labelling Lankesh as a “Naxal sympathiser” and hurled abuse at her.
Another Twitter user, Ashish Mishra, whose bio says he’s a ‘IIT Bombay,IIMP’ pass out and a ‘political strategist’, was one of the other people who posted objectionable tweets over Lankesh’s killing, according to the report.
Mishra is followed by senior ministers in the Union government including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Vijay Goel, apart from Narendra Modi.
Prasad in a tweet condemned Gauri Lankesh’s murder and the vitriolic messages about her killing:
PM Modi has been criticised in the past too for following Twitter handles that give out rape threats, communal threats and encourage online hatred and harassment.
While many supported the #BlockNarendraModi campaign calling for PM Modi to be blocked on Twitter, others refused to be a part of it, saying he was their ‘window to world tourism’.
Amit Malviya, the ruling party’s national head for information and technology, issued a statement after criticism of his party and the PM.
“PM following someone is not a character certificate of the person, and is not in any way a guarantee of how the person would conduct himself,” Malviya said, pointing out that Modi follows the Twitter handles of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as well.