PM Modi Should Mark Women’s Day By Unfollowing These Sexist Trolls
PM Modi’s Twitter account still follows accounts like Nikhil Dadhich who celebrated the murder of Gauri Lankesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi piqued nationwide curiosity earlier in March with his cryptic tweet about giving up his social media accounts. Turns out, it will last just a day – and that day is 8 March.
Celebrating International Women’s Day, Modi is “signing off” from his social media accounts – handing it over to “women whose life and work inspire us.”
The success of this campaign is yet to be ascertained, but what is certain is the Prime Minister’s continued silence on something that he has been repeatedly criticised for – following individuals on Twitter who troll, attack, and abuse women. In effect, Modi will be handing over a Twitter account that follows trolls who have made open and vile threats to women.
The Prime Minister is one of the most followed world leaders with over 53 million followers. But he follows a handful of over 2,300 people, including the likes of Nikhil Dadhich who celebrated the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
Here are some of the sexist trolls who the Prime Minister could unfollow this Women’s Day to actually honour women.
Following Lankesh’s murder, this tweet from Surat-based businessman Nikhil Dadhich on 5 September 2017 had caused an uproar online as well as offline – “A bitch died a dog’s death and all of her litter is crying in the same voice.”
Dadhich, who has a verified Twitter account now, continues to be followed by Modi’s official handle.
Samir Varier is among the scores of abusive trolls who have attacked journalist Rana Ayyub for being critical of Modi and the BJP-led government. His Twitter bio proclaims, “Honoured to be followed by PM Modi”.
Varrier, too, continues to be followed by the prime minister.
Mahaveer, who has changed his name on Twitter to “Ankit Sharma Amar Rahe”, is also followed by PM Modi. His Twitter bio reads “Blessed to be followed by PM Modi”. Mahaveer, who has a following of 79,000 users on the microblogging site, had posted insulting tweets attacking journalist Neha Dixit.
@RamkiXLRI, who describes himself as a “nationalist” and a “social entrepreneur”, has a 10.3K strong following and counts in the list of those who have posted abusive tweets against Ayyub in March 2017.
As of March 2020, he continues to be followed by Modi.
Bhatt, who describes himself as a “chartered accountant, interested in social entrepreneurship” is followed by 43,400 users. Prior to PM Modi’s Lok Sabha victory in 2014, Bhatt had posted abusive tweets about then UPA Chairperson (and a prime taget of several BJP leaders), Sonia Gandhi.
While Bhatt, too, continues to be followed by PM Modi, his current pinned tweet stands out for its introspective nature.
His tweet from 6 October reads, “After actively spending close to 8-9 years on twitter (read social media), I am beginning to realise futility of it- I have degenerated as a person in several ways- basically social media is actually making us anti social; the mad race to score ur own point makes us so inhuman!”
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