MJ Akbar drops ‘Chowkidar’ from Twitter after Renuka Shahane makes ‘limits of shamelessness’ jibe, puts it back later

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Former Union Minister MJ Akbar has been facing plenty of backlash on social media ever since he changed his name on the microblogging site by adding the prefix Chowkidar  (watchman). This was after Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself changed his name to Chowkidar Narendra Modi on Twitter in a bid to dilute the Congress’ attack against him on corruption. However, Akbar stunned everyone by dropping the word Chowkidar from his name after actress Renuka Shahane and many other activists poked fun at him because of allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Renuka Shahane

Responding to Akbar’s tweet, Renuka wrote, “If you are also a watchman, then no woman will remain safe.” She ended her tweet by using hashtag #BesharmiKiHadd, which translates in English as ‘limits of shamelessness.’

Hours later, Twitter users noticed that Akbar had dropped the word Chowkidar from his name. It was, however, not clear whether Renuka’s stinging attack had anything to do with his decision.

However, on Monday morning, perhaps under pressure from his boss Modi, Akbar decided to add Chowkidar back in his name.

MJ Akbar was accused by over a dozen women journalists of sexual misconduct when the former worked as editor in different publications including The Asian Age and The Telegraph. Faced with public anger, Akbar had to resign from the union cabinet. He later filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, who was the first journalist to accuse Akbar of sexual predatory. The case is currently being heard by a court in Delhi.

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