Feed­ing the Trolls

India Today - - UPFRONT -

De­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man has had a busy week, claim­ing that Navjot Singh Sidhu hug­ging the Pak­istan army chief was “de­mor­al­is­ing” for sol­diers, though it wasn’t spec­i­fied whether she had asked any sol­diers or was merely pro­ject­ing. She then went on TV and ‘joked’ ghoul­ishly about In­dian sol­diers be­head­ing Pak­istani sol­diers, but “not dis­play­ing” the spoils of war. Crit­ics ac­cused her of mak­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble com­ments to im­press so­cial me­dia trolls. She also claimed that win­ners of a stu­dents’ union elec­tion at the Jawa­har­lal Nehru Uni­ver­sity (JNU), part of a left wing al­liance, were as­so­ci­at­ing with “forces which are wag­ing a war against In­dia”. Should a coun­try’s de­fence min­is­ter be ac­cus­ing stu­dents, with­out ev­i­dence, of be­ing part of a fifth col­umn? Iron­i­cally, Sithara­man is (pre­sum­ably) the proud owner of a mas­ter’s de­gree in eco­nom­ics from JNU, a high-qual­ity in­sti­tu­tion that she is now tra­duc­ing as a haven for so-called anti-na­tional el­e­ments. In­ci­den­tally, the sup­port­ers of the left al­liance al­lege that they were beaten up by work­ers of the los­ing right-wing stu­dents’ group, the Akhil Bharatiya Vid­yarthi Par­ishad (ABVP). Its mem­bers have also al­leged they were vic­tims of vi­o­lence and called on the uni­ver­sity ad­min­is­tra­tion and po­lice to “comb” the cam­pus for so-called Nax­als. The newly elected union lead­ers have de­manded an apol­ogy from Sithara­man. Per­haps she should give one, un­less she can fur­nish proof of anti-na­tional ac­tiv­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.