Twitter is anti-national, anti-Prime Minister Narendra Modi and anti-Hindu, asserts singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya, whose account on the social media platform was suspended over his offensive and sexist posts. He feels with the ban, Twitter is suppressing the “voice of the nation”.
Abhijeet, a popular singer of Hindi film songs like Main koi aisa geet and Suno na, is known to be an active right-wing supporter and clashes with liberal voices on social media. In the recent past he courted controversy with his comments and Twitter posts on issues of political importance. On Tuesday, Twitter suspended his account over sexist and offensive remarks targetted at some women users, particularly JNU student-activist Shehla Rashid, following which Twitter took the action.
Abhijeet is angry.”Twitter is a platform for anti-nationals, anti-Indian Army, anti-Modi, anti-Hindu and for terrorist supporters. I would say all are Naxals, they should be punished severely. It’s jihadi Twitter,” Abhijeet told IANS in a WhatsApp conversation from Interlaken in Switzerland.
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“We are not only singers… We are the voice of our nation and come out openly against anti-nationals. So, Twitter is trying to shut our voice,” he declared. Abhijeet had retweeted a post by Rashid in which she claimed that BJP is running a sex racket, and posted some highly offensive comments at her.
In another tweet, he insulted a woman Twitter user when she called him out for his tweets. Abhijeet told IANS: “All Arundhati and JNU group (are) behind this (suspension and deletion), after Paresh Rawal and me tweeted against Arundhati for her anti-India stand.” Veteran actor and BJP parliamentarian Paresh Rawal has also attracted a lot of flak on Twitter for saying the Indian Army should “tie” author-activist Arundhati Roy to an army jeep instead of tying a “stone pelter”.
Rawal’s tweet came following Pakistani media reports that Roy had said that the “Indian aggression in Kashmir was shameful” and that New Delhi’s “oppression cannot subdue the Kashmiri struggle”. However, the news could not be verified and was reported to be a “fake news”, driving Rawal to delete his tweet on Wednesday.
Last year, Abhijeet was arrested but released on bail by the Mumbai Police following a complaint against him for harassing a woman journalist on Twitter. He has also relentlessly spoken out about how Bollywood “breeds and feeds” Pakistani artistes in the country. The singer said social media is not a platform to practise “freedom of speech” as there is too much trolling and ranting.
Defending both Abhijeet and Paresh, singer Sonu Nigam on Wednesday quit the platform accusing Twitter of being a “one-sided sham”. Sonu, who was earlier in the news for demanding a ban on loudspeakers during azaan, urged all “logical and sensible patriots” to quit Twitter. Appreciating his support, Abhijeet said: “Sonu Nigam is the only daring person from our fraternity who raised this issue along with me.”
On a personal note, Abhijeet announced that it was his wedding anniversary. “I am enjoying my concerts and holiday. Today is my wedding anniversary… A big party in Interlaken.” The singer said he is on a concert tour and a vacation.