Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under criticism both from his former colleagues and political detractors for giving approval to vitriolic social media trolls on innumerable occasion.
Not so long ago, former BJP minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, Arun Shourie’s revelation that the right-wing trolls had made fun of his disabled son on social media had left many utterly shocked.
Shourie said that those who poked fun at his handicapped son were people who Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed on twitter. The BJP’s troll army had told Shourie that he deserved to have a child like this.
One of those who attacked Shourie and made fun of his disabled son was allegedly Ankur Sharma, who’s known as @AYBPS on twitter.
Two journalists have now come forward alleging that he made slanderous remarks against one of them.
Senior journalist, Swati Chaturvedi, who was the target of Sharma’s pedophilia jibe told jantakareporter.com, “This is the same jerk. He had deleted his account after outrage grew over his abuse for Arun Shourie’s differently-abled son. Now he’s been abusing both Rohini Singh (Economic Times) and me.
“It all started after saffron troll army started attacking The Telegraph on Thursday because of their Aunty National headline. So I tweeted saying that Smriti Irani was 39 and if she was calling a 26-year-old student (Rohith Vemula) a child, it’s faux feminism. He is not a child.”
To which Sharma, responded using pedophilia jibe against Swati.
His tweet read, “Friends do me a favour..pls guess what @bainjal used 2 call a 3yrs old child wen she was 16yrs old..Omg Her fantasy (sic).”
— Ankur Sharma (@AYBPS) February 25, 2016
Perturbed by Sharma’s ‘horrible’ tweet, Rohini jumped in, “Shocking that such people are part of the BJP SM cell who talk of a 3 year old child in such a manner.”
Shocking that such people are part of the BJP SM cell who talk of a 3 year old child in such a manner. https://t.co/JKeqUpIp4e
— Rohini Singh (@Rohinisgh_ET) February 26, 2016
An enraged Swati then tweeted tagging the Prime Minister and wondering how he was following a troll who ‘peddle pedophilia.’
She went ahead and taunted Modi by asking, “Are you well.”
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) February 26, 2016
In no time, the subject became a topic of intense social media conversation with other prominent twitter users too throwing their support behind Swati and Rohini while condemning Sharma’s act.
Swati added, “I’m appalled to say the least. This jerk is a member of the BJP’s SM team. He gets paid by the saffron party and our country’s prime minister follows him. He’s member of the social media cell, which reports to Amit Malviya.
“Unfortunately, our prime minister doesn’t hold press conferences. I would like to ask Modi if he really approved of journalists not agreeing with him or his ministers being slandered with pedophilia. Is that what Mr Modi wants democracy to be reduced to.What happened to his Beti Bachao Beti Padhao slogan?”
This is not the first time, the members of the BJP’s social media team, allegedly deployed to give ideological opponents grief on twitter and Facebook, has earned disrepute.
In the past too, many of those who Modi had exclusively invited to meet at his official residence at 7RCR after becoming the PM, have been found to be abusing ideological opponents on social media using choicest of expletives.
Curiously, most of them usually tend to proudly display hand-shake of their photos with Modi as their profile image.
(Screenshots credit: Thequint.com)