Netizens have reacted with shock after a report claimed that popular cartoonist Manjul had been suspended by Mukesh Ambani-owned Network18 after he received a notice from Twitter at the behest of the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
Manjul had earlier shared a screenshot of a notice that he received from Twitter Legal on 4 June. The notice had read, “In the interest of transparency, we are writing to inform you that Twitter has received a request from Indian law enforcement regarding your
Twitter account, @MANJULtoons.”
The cartoonist was informed by the microblogging site that no action was being taken against him at the request from the Indian law enforcement agency. “As Twitter strongly believes in defending and respecting the voice of our users, it is our policy to notify our users if we receive a legal request from an authorized entity (such as law enforcement or a government agency) to remove content from their account.”
Sharing the copy of the notice, Manjul had tweeted sarcastically, “Jai Ho Modi ji ki sarkaar ki. (Long live Modi government).”
जय हो मोदी जी की सरकार की! pic.twitter.com/VylSsI2tVX
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) June 4, 2021
Days later, a report by The Wire website claimed that the cartoonist had been suspended by Mukesh Ambani-owned media group, Network18. This evoked angry reactions from netizens as they took to Twitter to take potshots at India’s richest businessman.
If Mukesh Ambani is scared of a cartoon by @MANJULtoons, I wonder how Mukesh Ambani built his @reliancegroup empire! Absolutely unlikely to be fair and honest. Worse, by sucking up to power. Says a lot about the administration of the day. https://t.co/HIFUPwW0n2
— Leo Saldanha (@leofsaldanha) June 10, 2021
Whoa! Mukesh Ambani’s network suspends @MANJULtoons with immediate effect. Few days ago, Twitter had informed Manjul that the government had asked for suspension of his Twitter account. https://t.co/7UoK7caq0a
— Abhishek Baxi (@baxiabhishek) June 10, 2021
News just in that @MANJULtoons has been dismissed from Mukesh Ambani’s Network 18. Because he dares to make some cartoons parodying the PM. What an insecure man, for all the purported inches on his chest…
— Ajay Kamath (@ajay43) June 10, 2021
Work like this got @MANJULtoons suspended from Mukesh Ambani’s Network 18. There was a time when editors and journalists would have spoken out angrily against this targeting of a colleague. Pin drop silence now. State of the media today. pic.twitter.com/dCSOpyE3pt
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) June 10, 2021
Twitter was recently in the news after the Indian government sent one ‘last notice’ to the social media giant to comply with the new IT Act. Twitter’s decision to call out BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s fake news on the ‘Congress toolkit’ row had also left the Narendra Modi government incensed.