Paresh Rawal's tweet on Arundhati Roy reflects what’s wrong with India in these times of mob justice
- ‘Arundhati Roy should be tied to an army jeep instead of a stone-pelter’
- Haven’t we learnt our lesson from the recent mob lynching that happened because of inciting on WhatsApp
- Are we consciously spreading a message of hate and crime?
It is becoming hard to differentiate between the villainous persona that Paresh Rawal once played on the silver screen and the tweet that the actor turned politician has published.
The BJP MP, during his time in the Hindi film industry has often portrayed the role of a villain with utmost conviction but to see that in reality is quite disconcerting. I say this because of the tweet he put out on a rather controversial issue:
He kicked up a row with a remark that author Arundhati Roy should be tied to an army jeep instead of a stone pelter, a reference to an incident in Kashmir where a protester was used as a shield by security personnel to prevent a mob from attacking them. The reason for this because the author has been a critic of the BJP and the Army action in the Valley.
His tweet drew condemnation from many on the social media platform, with some accusing him of inciting violence. When a follower suggested that instead of the Booker Prize winning author, a woman journalist should be treated in a similar manner, Rawal said, "We have a wide variety of choices!"
Not only that there was another celebrity who endorsed him as well and upped the ante by demanding ‘Shoot them as well’. The celebrity is none other than Singer Abhijeet, whose Twitter account has since been suspended. No prizes for guessing why.
This is not the first time that Abhijeet has been disrespectful to women. But ‘SirPareshRawal’ as the twitter handle of the actor/politician displays – It was not expected of you to make such a statement.
Arundhati Roy’s view on the Army in Kashmir may not meet your own or your ideology, but making blanket statements like that amounts to inciting. Haven’t we learnt our lesson from the recent mob lynching that happened in Jharkhand where seven people lost their lives due to a circulating WhatsApp message?
You can read the story here : WhatsApp - The messenger which now promotes violence, instigates mobs, kills people
A celebrity of your stature has millions of impressionable minds following you and if you make such a statement then imagine the message to the followers who have retweeted and suggested more devious changes to your statement! Are we consciously spreading a message of hate and crime?
Not to forget, Arundhati has the right to make her opinion just like you do but inciting others to harm her in some way is not the correct way to use ‘freedom of expression or speech’. Already we are grappling with rising crime against women in India, do we need another ? Some radical minded nut might just take your words for granted and execute them, if not with Arundhati Roy, with some other woman because you ‘his idol’, a politician has ratified it, promoted and encouraged it. Will you then take responsibility for their deaths or the consequences? No, you cannot brush it off as people being able to think for themselves, because clearly they are not.
Here’s how the conversation went on Twitter among Rawal’s followers:
We understand nationalism, but this is more than just deshbhakti sir! Like earlier for everything the soldier standing and guarding India at Siachen became an excuse, will this too also become the way that things need to be done. Anyone who does not follow your view of nationalism or patriotism, will be punished in severe terms? Is this what we want?
No Sir Paresh Rawal, this is not what India voted for, this is not why you were elected as public representative. How many more Abhijeets will you create with your words?