Why social media platforms in India are gagging ‘dissenting voices’ without much ado.
When Salil Tripathi retired for the night on Dec 5, he had no clue how a video uploaded on Twitter (in that video, he was reciting a poem that reportedly mentioned the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 and the 2002 Gujarat riots) would snowball into a Twitter suspension and stoke a massive outrage over the incident.
“It (the video) was the one where I read out the poem about my mother… The next morning, I was suspended. I had no intimation from anyone,” he says.
His stellar credentials as a veteran writer and a human rights activist did not make any difference, either. Despite decades of writing experience with the focus on India and being a vice-chairman of the 99-year-old writers’ body PEN International, his Twitter account with 72.3K followers was abruptly suspended. It fell victim to the brute force of ‘reporting’, organised by a profile called Deshi Army (as it purportedly claimed) that prides itself on its “swift, fearless, deadly” motto of cleansing the social media platform to make it “pleasant for nationalists”.