External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday hit back at a right-wing troll in a remarkable style after the Twitter user in question dared the minister to block her.
A known right-wing troll, identified as Sonam Mahajan, dared Swaraj to block her. She claimed that she was once Swaraj’s fan but had been let down by her ministry’s decision to issue passports to an interfaith couple in Lucknow. She concluded her message by daring the minister to block her, “Please honour me by blocking on Twitter. I shall wait.”
Pat came the response from Swaraj, who wrote, “Intezaar kyon ? Lijiye block kr diya. (Why wait? Here you go, you’re now blocked.”
Intezaar kyon ? Lijiye block kr diya. https://t.co/DyFy3BSZsM
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 3, 2018
This came just a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh became the first senior member of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government to come out in the open and extend support to Swaraj, who’s been subjected to nasty trolling and faced death threats from BJP supporters. Some of these trolls are followed by Prime Minister Modi and his cabinet colleagues.
“I consider this absolutely wrong,” Singh was quoted as saying. He had even reportedly called Swaraj to express his solidarity. Swaraj had launched a Twitter poll asking her followers if they approved of the abusive tweets that targeted her. 57% of them had answered in ‘No,’ while 43% respondents said they agreed with those who abused the minister and issued death threats.
More than 1.24 lakh people took part in the poll with 57% expressing their disgust on the tweets that sought to give grief to Swaraj. Worryingly, 43% respondents (over 50,000 people) approved of the abusive tweets with calls for assassination of the minister.
Swaraj had then taken to Twitter to reinforce her point that there was no place for abuse and intimidation in a civilised society. She wrote, “In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective.”
Meanwhile, there are reports that the regional passport officer in Lucknow had issued clearance to the passports of Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth, the interfaith couple, whose allegations of harassment had kicked up a storm on social media.
The external affairs ministry had later order the immediate transfer of Vikas Mishra, who had allegedly harassed the interfaith couple. Mishra had vehemently denied the allegations.