Twitter on May 23 suspended singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya’s account after his allegedly deorgatory posts came to the micro-blogging site’s notice. While the Bollywood singer claimed his tweets had offended “anti-national elements” which led to Twitter suspending the accounts of nationalist voices like his, many have come out in support of Bhattacharya with the hashtag #IStandWithAbhijeet trending on social media. Supporters of the singer have pointed out that his freedom of expression has been denied with this move and hence many demanded a boycott of Twitter. But those who are against Bhattacharya pointed out that his verified account was suspended because his recent tweets reeked of “sexual harassment and incitement to violence against a decorated soldier”.
Here are some of the reactions the news of his Twitter account suspension garnered on social media.
— Republic Of India (@RepubIicofIndia) May 23, 2017
Twitter suspends Abhijeet Bhattacharya s acc, asks Paresh Rawal to delete tweet. Late realization that thr s no 56 inch ? 😀
— Vinay Kumar Dokania (@vinaydokania) May 23, 2017
— Mahesh Herambha (@MahiHerambha) May 23, 2017
— Puneet Sharma (@iSharmaPuneet) May 23, 2017
— rampal singh (@rampals1989) May 23, 2017
Phir se shuru .. Right wings r targeted yet again. I guess freedom of speech is not for everyone, esp RWs
— That #SaffronGirl (@SaffronAlways) May 23, 2017
— Paresh Rawal (@Babu_Bhaiyaa) May 23, 2017
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) May 23, 2017
Apparently, Bhattacharya posted a series of offensive tweets recently which lead to the suspension. Shehla Rashid, JNU student and activist, recently tweeted a news report on how ‘Narendra Modi Army Brigade’ head was one among four people held in an alleged sex racket that was busted in Madhya Pradesh.
Trafficking/flesh trade involving BJP leaders:
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) May 23, 2017
This is a screenshot of his alleged reply to Rashid, that is now being shared on social media.
It seems, on the same day ie. May 22, he posted a derogatory tweet in reply to a woman who called him a “deshbhakt” and wrote “deshbhakts like you should stay in a zoo. You’re dangerous for the society.” This was his alleged reply.
““My tweets were not at all offensive. The entire nation today stands with me . Those offended are the anti-national elements . They can abuse the Indian Army, they can speak against our Prime Minister and get away, but mere replying to their tweets can get your accounts suspended,” Bhattacharya said, talking to The Indian Express.
According to a PTI report, Bhattacharya said “Author Arundhati Roy and people supporting JNU” were behind the suspension of his account. “Yes, I just saw it. They are trying to block Paresh Rawal also. All Arundhati and JNU group behind this after Paresh Rawal and I tweeted against Arundhati for her anti-India stand,” he said.
Paresh Rawal, who had posted a derogatory tweet against author Arundhati Roy instigated a barrage of tweets against him, following which Twitter ‘locked’ the tweet. “Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy!” — read the controversial post, which is now deleted.
Taking a stand on Twitter suspending Bhattacharya’s account and making Rawal delete his tweet, singer Sonu Nigam posed a series of tweets in the morning, which he ended by posting he will go off Twitter soon. “A woman can endorse a picture of Gautam Gambhir in the front of the Army Jeep, & Paresh Rawal, Criticized for doing d same to someone else,” he asked in the seventh tweet of the 24-tweet series.
Here are his tweets.