The Editors Guild of India on Saturday, 28 December, rebuked the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya for putting out a ‘deplorable’ Twitter poll, in which he had asked if veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai should handle Public Relations for ISIS.
In a statement, the guild said that the poll on Sardesai was not only “tasteless” but also “questioned the integrity and patriotism of Mr Sardesai, who is a journalist of standing and a former President of the Editors Guild of India.”
While urging Malviya to “immediately withdraw the so-called Twitter poll,” the Guild also questioned the BJP’s commitment to an atmosphere where healthy debates are encouraged and where disagreement doesn’t turn into abuse.
The options in Malviya’s poll included 'Agree', 'Strongly agree', Disagree' and 'He is irrelevant'.
Malviya's sudden tweet and poll-taking came after Sardesai tweeted on Friday morning, talking about the difference in flags that can be seen at pro-CAA and anti-CAA rallies.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents to the poll said that they agreed with Malviya's statement, 27.8 percent said they strongly agreed, while 32.1 percent said they disagreed. Meanwhile, 12.1 percent of the respondents said that he was irrelevant, at the time this story was published.
Sardesai himself responded calmly to Malviya's poll-cum-tweet, wishing him a peaceful and happy new year and said that he could carry on with this "brazenly slanderous and incendiary campaign".
Netizens Slam Malviya
However, not everyone responded like Sardesai, with many bashing Malviya for his poll.
Nagaland Congress General Secretary GK Zhimomi suggested that Sardesai recommend a psychotherapist for Malviya.
One person said that while Sardesai's qualification for the post was questionable, Malviya was in a position of authority because he’d handled PR for ‘fundamentalists’.
Another journalist had a similar opinion on Malviya's tweet.
Journalist Rohini Mohan lashed out at Malviya, saying he was single-handedly ruining BJP's name.
Journalist Sreenivasan Jain called Malviya's action 'shameful.'
Another journalist wondered whether Malviya is stepping down now.
Applause for Sardesai's Reaction
Many lauded Sardesai's reaction to Malviya's poll, saying it was a badge of pride for a journalist. Another called it "graceful".
Another person congratulated Sardesai, saying this was the result of the journalist's work.