More than 300 people have died and the death toll could shoot up further. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless even as the government grapple to accurately judge the extent of the loss. Bollywood actors, certain politicians such as BJP MP Varun Gandhi, Congress party and Aam Aadmi Party have risen to the occasion to do their bit to help their fellow Indians in Kerala.
While Varun Gandhi on Saturday announced Rs 2 lakh worth financial help, both Congress and AAP said that their elected representatives will donate a month’s salary towards Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
However, not everyone has been as generous towards the flood victims as some known right-wing bigots launched a vicious campaign to promote Hindutva and mock the plight of the victims.
One US-based NRI and a staunch proponent of vicious Hindutva agenda, Rajiv Malhotra wrote urging his Hindutva supporters to only donate for Hindus and not victims of other faith. His vile tweet read, “Please donate to help Kerala Hindus. Christians and Muslims worldwide raising lots of money to help mainly their own ppl & agendas (sic)”
Soon it emerged that Malhotra’s tweet was not in isolation as this was retweeted by Mohandas Pai, a known supporter of the BJP and the RSS. Pai is also an investor in Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV. Pai faced plenty of flak from journalists and other social media users, who called his action shameful. Journalist Somesh Jha wrote, “And people like @TVMohandasPai share his views. Mohandas Pai is one of the advisors to the government of India on many areas. Shame.”
— Somesh Jha (@someshjha7) August 18, 2018
Pai’s reply to Jha landed the Benguluru-based former Infosys executive in bigger shame. In a bid to justify his decision to endorse Malhotra’s bigotry, Pai wrote, “Maan you should know the reality on the ground and what happened during the relief work during the Tsunami; understand before you shoot your mouth off.”
Pai and Malhotra weren’t the only one mocking the plight of millions in Kerala. One Prashant Patel, widely dubbed as the peddler of fake news, too posted a seemingly vicious tweet that appeared to justify the nature’s fury on the people of Kerala. Patel wrote, “Earlier Natural disaster in Gods own country after massacre of Hindus in Mopla & Now in 2018 after slaughtering of Cows & disrespecting deites (sic) of God’s.”
Journalist Swati Chaturvedi was quick to highlight that the man known as serial peddler of fake news was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. She wrote, “Blessed to be followed by Modi.”
There were many on Facebook and Twitter who posted similar hate messages mocking the tragedy. Most of the Hindutva trolls linked the natural calamity to the local population’s dietary habits particularly beef eating.
The hate messages by the Hindutva bigots evoked angry reactions from commentators and activists, who urged them to hold their hate for the time being. User Vishwanath Nair wrote, “I’m sorry but if the hate that some right wingers are propagating here during the Kerala floods is not making you uncomfortable, you are made of stone and nothing will ever move you. These creeps are no longer in the shadows. They are all out. Brazenly spreading their propaganda.”
Journalist Shivam Vij wrote, “This is so bigoted I don’t have words for it. They hate women and they hate the people dying in kerala floods. Remember that a flood does not discriminate. It does not see religion, caste, gender.”