Faced with an insistent barrage of attacks from Narendra Modi supporters on social media, Congress on Wednesday accused the Prime Minister of being the “first leader in the free world to run an army of trolls”. Party spokesman Ajoy Kumar claimed that the rise of Modi as the Prime Minister is “directly linked with exponential rise of abuse and hate-mongering on digital media.”
Given the low entry barrier, relatively hidden identity and zero accountability, creating and propagating fake news and attacking individuals based on race, gender, religion, region and caste has been the “modus operandi” of BJP, he alleged.
“It is unprecedented that Prime Minister of the country follows, meets and actively encourages such trolls,” he claimed. Sadhvi Khosla, a former Modi supporter, has recently “exposed” these scandalous practices to a noted journalist.
“Shockingly, the troll army are now senselessly attacking Khosla and the journalist,” said Kumar at the AICC briefing showing video clips of the trolls and detailing how some businessmen were active in this campaign from the beginning.
He claimed that some of these scandalous practices to “berate, humiliate and threaten” are by identifying people, who have written anything criticising Modi, and attack them, bully them, threaten them with a view to silence their voice into submission.
Citing an instance, he alleged that morphed and vulgar pictures of Nandana Sen, daughter of Amartya Sen were circulated over social media only because of criticism of the Prime Minister by the Noble laurete.
“This troll army did not even spare the son of former Union Minister Arun Shourie, who is challenged by Cerebral Palsy, only because Shourie dared to criticise Modi,” he added.
Political activists criticising Modi and his policies have suffered the worst kind of lewd, dirty and filthy abuse and treatment online, Kumar claimed.
He said he wanted the Prime Minister to tell as to who are these trolling individuals and organisations whom he “hosts, follows, encourages and protects?”
“Why does Modi act as the benefactor, protector, nurturer of these hate mongers and misogynists?” he said, adding whether the Prime Minister would show courage of conviction to constitute a special committee under judicial supervision to identify and punish such scandalous troll army involved solely in suppression of opinion and indulging, abuse, hate, communal polarisation, threats and pushing morphed and scandalous content.