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The current status of opposition in our country is extremely feeble, and it’s not a healthy sign for a democracy.

If not Modi, then who? This rhetoric, which doesn’t even qualify being called a question, is suggestive of a weak state of opposition in our country, which makes people elect terror accused and hate mongers for the sake of one person. However, this question was asked after the strategies aimed to weaken the opposition were set in motion which were relatively easier, owing to their lack of competency in the first place. But what made them touch a new low and cease their existence as an alternative altogether? 

With a heavy PR marketing and ever famous IT cell, the propaganda was diluted very subtly. With huge corporate backups and resources, the opposition fell short drastically. A lack of better leadership and money as compared to the ruling party sowed seeds for cynicism against opposition. Very strategically accountability was shifted to opposition, everything started to go back to Nehru and Gandhi, and lost in this never-ending process were actual public concerns. Things were such that allegations were ensued of buying of opposition leaders in Karnataka. It’s shameful that the representatives of dissidents are thrashed so blatantly that dissidents would not want to associate themselves with such an embarrassment.

People might think why a popularly elected government with a heavy majority is problematic? Why is the opposition displeased with the works of the government aimed at national interest? Why do people speak ill of the ruling party? Well to answer that, we have to understand that democracy is not confined to a majority opinion. It’s inclusive of all the opinions by all of the people. If there’s representation of just one kind of view, it’s not sufficient. In a democracy we need to have counter opinions, checks and balances, and so far the onus of this was on opposition which has failed us and also been constructed to fail us, that we are now sinking. 

Such a bereftness led to students, activists, satirists, and artists composing a voice of dissent as opposition. Although their cause is helpful for maintaining some counter opinions thus saving us from a site of an all majoritarian crisis, unless it’s not on the political grounds as oppositions, it would do no good. 

A very basic definition of democracy taught us that it is of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s time we see who these people are. Can you see yourself or can you see only yourself getting a representation? 

Featured image credits: News 18

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]


Looking into the divisive nature of politics in India and analysing who exactly are the winners and losers as a result of it. 

No doubt that politics in this country is toxic. It is tainted with corruption, hate, communalism, and principles that strongly contradict the values of our constitution. The negative light that politics is seen in is obvious in the way that political remarks are made in hushed tones and only within the confines of certain ‘safe’ spaces.

India is a culturally rich country and its richness shows in the opinions held by its citizens too. Despite the negative light that politics is seen in, it is still common for people to engage in discourse and debate on matters of politics, even if it remains within certain ‘echo chambers’ and a result of this is the extremely divided state of politics. It has become too easy to classify and humiliate people by putting them into one of the two categories or labels. The ‘bhakt’ or supporter of the government of Prime Minister and the ‘liberal’ or one that does not. These tags, however, come with a whole host of stereotypes and assumptions that are made about these people, for instance, a ‘bhakt’ would have to have blind faith and no mind of their own, propagate hatred and incite violence and suppress speech against the government while a ‘liberal’ must be a ‘card-carrying Communist’ or be on the Congress payroll and serve no other purpose than furthering the message of the ‘anti-national’, ‘tukdre tukdre gang’.

In all of this name-calling and humiliation of the ‘other side’, we often forget that in this endless trolling and hatred, there is not, and will never be a winner. We are all losers. Being all ‘woke’ and sharing our ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘revolutionary’ ideas in the same echo chambers that we always do, serves no greater purpose to politics as a whole since we still refuse to interact with those who hold opposing views, writing them off as ‘bhakts’ or ‘liberals’. Are we such fragile snowflakes that we can’t bear to hear an opinion that we do not necessarily agree with? Or are we too insecure and used to adhering to one opinion that the possibility of perhaps having a change of heart is a nightmare?

Of course, you have every right to block out a person or group you deem to be toxic or do not respect the value of an intellectual discussion. I am not asking you to invite Hitler to your next ‘MUN’ and try to reason with him, but what we do need is for people to take their opinions and engage in discussions outside groups that agree with everything they say and perhaps have a change of mind. Either extreme is toxic and compromise and incorporating ideas from different parts of the political spectrum is what we need.

Finally, while we bicker and call names, who is the winner? The winner, of course, is not among us. The winners are the politicians who only demonize the other side faction and their supporters and incite the hatred, intolerance and trolling. The same ‘divide and rule’ the British used to suppress Indians is alive today, for while we are caught up fighting each other and being intolerant, we can never unite and call out politicians for their incompetence. Perhaps the Delhi elections were a sign that the country is waking up to this reality with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who campaigned almost completely on divisive politics, facing defeat. So, the next time you go on an Instagram rant about how stupid ‘bhakts’ or ‘liberals’ are and how woke you are, remember that you aren’t winning.


Featured Image Credits: WUSF News

Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]


Looking at the different reactions to the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) ‘tasks’ that called for solidarity in these difficult times. 

With the nation under lockdown and the rapidly spreading pandemic, much has been called into question. The government’s response, testing rates and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical personnel, among other things. In these dire times, as the nation looked to its leader for some reassurance, our Prime Minister gave us ‘tasks’ to boost morale and show solidarity.

In a country where a large number of people choose to get their news from the ‘WhatsApp University’, the ridiculous response to the Prime Minister’s tasks should be no surprise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to clap and bang plates at five p.m. for five minutes on the 22nd March, in solidarity to the frontline workers who are working to fight the pandemic. However, ‘WhatsApp University’ was quick to claim that the 22nd March was the ‘darkest day of the month’ and that bacteria and evil forces were strongest that day or that this task had some deep scientific and astrological connection. The result was a commotion as people gathered on streets with chants of ‘Go Corona Go!’ to ‘destroy’ the virus with the sound of plates, drums, bells and more.

The next task given by the Prime Minister was to turn off all lights and come to our balconies on the 5th April at nine p.m. and light candles or flashlights for 9 Minutes. Yet again the ‘scientists’ of the ‘WhatsApp University’ leapt at the opportunity and spread messages that candles would ‘raise the temperature and kill the virus’ or that ‘nine p.m. for nine minutes’ has some numerology and religious connection. Another aspect that was overlooked was the potential electrical grid failure due to the sudden drop and rise in electricity demand as the entire nation switched off their lights and switched them back on at the same time. This, however, turned out to be the least of concerns as people gathered on streets in large numbers with candles and even flaming torches, leading processions and chanting slogans to ‘chase the Corona away’.

A BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur, Manju Tiwari, also had a police report filed against her for firing a revolver into the sky as she supposedly got ‘caught up in the Diwali like atmosphere’ during Prime Minister Modi’s nine p.m. candle lighting. All of this after Prime Minister Modi specifically asked people not to leave their houses and the repeated stress on the importance of social distancing and self-isolation during this lockdown. These tasks by the Prime Minister have received backlash and were criticised as nothing but feel-good gestures and publicity stunts.

While the nation clapped and cheered for doctors, doctors across the country faced harassment in their housing societies and buildings and suffered from a lack of safety equipment of PPEs with many doctors wearing raincoats to protect themselves while treating patients. As the nation lit candles, migrant workers starve and die, unable to buy food or make their way home. Help may be on its way, but the damage has been done and these ‘feel-good gestures’ are doing nothing at all. While donations poured in for the PM-Cares fund, many have asked why the money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) hasn’t been utilised instead. The PMNRF currently has a balance of INR 3,800.44 crore that is lying unutilised. Despite several warnings of the virus and the need for the lockdown, some people have shown that there will always be people who believe and spread misinformation without any validation of facts. It is ridiculous, just how quickly people jump to conclusions after reading some dubious WhatsApp chain message and all the efforts to curb the virus are thrown out of the window as people gather on streets to dances to the tunes of the Prime Minister’s next instruction.


Featured Image Credits: Gulf News 

Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]


Looking at recent election campaigns, and the political climate of the country in general, several things come to light, one of them being the twisting of historical facts.

In his novel 1984, Orwell says, “Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” 

Speaking at the Banaras Hindu University, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Putting together our history, embellishing it and rewriting it is the responsibility of the country, its people and historians.”

Of course, efforts to do this have been underway for a few years now-during its first tenure, the culture ministry under the BJP Government set up a fourteen-member committee to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of Indian History, to prove that Hindu scriptures are not myths and that today’s Hindus descend directly from India’s first inhabitants from thousands of years ago. 

India, unfortunately, is no stranger to such practices. Read Indian school textbooks, and you’ll see omissions of history from the dark days of Indira Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister. In textbooks from Rajasthan, you’ll see a watered-down version of Ambedkar’s fight against the oppressive caste system, where instead of representing him accurately as a vehement opponent of the caste system ingrained into the then prevalent structure of Hinduism, he is portrayed as a “Hindu Social Reformer” akin to the likes of Dayanand Saraswati and K B Hedgewar, the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Nehru said that Mahmud Ghazni was a lover of art (the same Mahmud Ghazni who destroyed idols and temples in India). Gandhi is praised and hailed as a reformer and father of the nation but nowhere do we mention his obsession with the caste system

This cherry-picking of facts is incredibly problematic. It is the job of historians to present facts as they are, good or bad. However, politics is a different game altogether, and when contentions in History come into the political realm, things get ugly. Integrity is a crucial part of historical method, except no compulsion is there on politicians to be morally prudent.

When politicians are allowed to twist facts in order to pursue a particular narrative, they not only change what people think happened in the past. The key to the future lies in revisiting history, thus, history becomes an incredibly powerful tool to influence people’s emotions and actions. 

Coming back to the status quo, that is exactly what the current government is doing. Historian Romila Thapar says “if the Hindus are to have primacy as citizens in a Hindu Rashtra (kingdom), their foundational religion cannot be an imported one.” It aims to revisit history in a manner where it establishes the current Hindu majority as indigenous. That, of course, comes at a cost, which here are the core values that make India what it is. That is precisely why it’s best to ensure that History is left outside of the political realm. It is far too dangerous a tool to be left in the hands of people like politicians, who’re guided by principles that primarily benefit themselves.
Image Credits: India TV

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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Members of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) Delhi protested against the violence instigated in Delhi outside Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residence.

On Tuesday, 25th February 2020, members of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) Delhi protested against the violence instigated outside Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s residence. Also, NSUI members raised slogans against Delhi violence at Lieutenant Governor’s residence in the wee hours of morning, around 1:30 a.m.  Following this, NSUI members were detained by Delhi Police, as per the Press Release released by them on the same day.

NSUI activists organised a peace march to protest against Delhi violence from Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) office at Faculty of Arts, North Campus. Delhi University students joined NSUI activists and participated in the peace march by holding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in hand.

Ashish Lamba , Secretary of Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) from NSUI said, “The NSUI activists protested at Lieutenant Governor’s house in Civil Lines regarding the violence which took place in Delhi and the Lieutenant Governor still did not respond and kept himself as a mute spectator. We were detained at Civil Lines Police Station. In the evening NSUI led DUSU also took out a Shanti candle march from DUSU office to Arts Faculty in order to appeal for peace.”

NSUI members stated, “It is a pre-planned conspiracy by BJP leaders. This violence and atrocities against minorities and Dalits has been raised and now we can see the riots on minorities and Dalits. NSUI will keep its fight against such violence and will spread Mahatma Gandhi ‘s Ahimsa Marg among the people of India.” NSUI demanded Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation and asked him to step down from the ministry.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Paridhi Puri

[email protected] 


With the Delhi Assembly elections today, let’s take a look at the candidates competing against incumbent Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Chief Ministerial candidate- Arvind Kejriwal.

Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s Incumbent Chief Minister, is once again the chief ministerial candidate from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) contesting from the New Delhi constituency. The New Delhi constituency was created by the delimitation commission in 2008. Historically, it has always been the constituency, which has been held by the Chief Ministers, as Sheila Dixit represented the constituency in the 2008 Elections before Kejriwal. The New Delhi Constituency has a sizeable population of Government employees and falls in the posh localities of Delhi.

With neither Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), nor the Indian National Congress (INC), releasing the names of their chief ministerial candidates, let’s take a look at the candidates competing from the New Delhi Constituency.

Sunil Yadav (BJP)

Sunil Yadav is an advocate by profession. Yadav started his political career as a Party’s Yuva Morcha. He currently holds the President’s Office of Yuva Morcha, Bharatiya Janata Party, Delhi (BJYM Delhi). He is the former Secretary of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party. While it was rumoured for him to get a ticket in the 2013 and 2015 Elections, this is Yadav’s first time contesting as a candidate.

Talking about the focus on national issues in the BJP manifesto over local issues, Sunil Yadav, said to theIndian Express, that he was fighting the election on local agenda. “I am talking about people living in clusters in my constituency. I am talking about their water and electricity bills.” He also claims, he is confident of a victory with a margin of 25,000 votes.

Romesh Sabharwal (INC)

Romesh Sabharwal is a former Student Leader, who has been associated with the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), and the Youth Congress three decades back. He was the President of NSUI Delhi State. This is Sabharwal’s first time contesting as a candidate.

He also claims that he is confident to beat Arvind Kejriwal. “He may be the CM of Delhi, but I am a local, as a Government servant and an honest taxpayer who understands the needs of the residents of the constituency,” Romesh Sabharwal told India Today.

Arvind Kejriwal (AAP)

Arvind Kejriwal joined politics formally in 2012, when he launched the Aam Aadmi Party. Before joining politics, Kejriwal worked in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as a Joint Commissioner, Income Tax in New Delhi. He is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

In 2006, Kejriwal was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in recognition of his involvement in the grassroots level movement Parivartan, using Right to Information legislation, in a campaign against corruption, post which he resigned from the Government Service. He has also been monumental in leading the Jan Lokpal Anti- Corruption movement, along with Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi, in 2011.

Following the 2013 Delhi Assembly Elections, Arvind Kejriwal first took office as the Chief Minister of Delhi, in December 2013. However, in February 2014, he resigned due to his minority Government’s inability to pass his proposed anti-corruption legislation pertaining to lack of support from other political parties. In the 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections, the Aam Aadmi Party won 67 out of the 70 seats in Delhi, securing Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Ministerial Office again.

Both BJP and INC have pitched first- time candidates against Kejriwal in these elections.

Feature Image Credits: Outlook

Satviki Sanjay

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With the Delhi Assembly Elections today, we take a look at elections from an economic point of view, focusing on the money spent by candidates on political campaigning.

“For fifty years, we have been trained to believe that elections are a matter of life and death,” sternly opined Asaduddin Owaisi, a veteran Lok Sabha Legislator, in an informal interview with ScoopWhoop Unscripted, a month before the National Elections last year.

Though Mr Owaisi might have taken a few hyperbolic liberties while making this particular statement, one cannot deny the fact that elections are extremely significant moments in time in the history of any democracy, impacting the Nationwide dynamic and Government policies for the next few years, as well as fulfilling the political aspirations of successful candidates, and collapsing those of unsuccessful ones.

Every election sees the birth of a future leader or the rise of an existing one. Once in a while, more so in recent years, it also sees the fall of a stalwart. With such a prominent amount of reputation and power at stake, candidates standing in elections leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the majority of voters press their symbol on the ballot, spending enormous amounts of time and funds on election campaigning.

India’s Lok Sabha Elections in 2019 were deemed to be one of the world’s most expensive elections with an estimate of over INR 50,000 crores spent on electoral campaigning by parties and candidates across the Country. According to a study by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS), India’s election expenditure has risen six times since 1998, with the majority of the amount being spent on publicity campaigns. Costs include money spent on roadshows, billboard advertisements, television advertisements, social media campaigns, constituency tours, rallies, and music videos to name a few.

In fact, in the run-up to the 2020 Delhi Assembly Elections, the AAP Government introduced numerous freebies in the form of subsidies in electricity charges, free bus rides for women and removal of development fees for new water connections. The opposition leaders in the State questioned the economic viability of these recent freebies.

Besides these costs, parties also resort to illegitimate means of attracting votes, with reports of candidates distributing cash, clothes, land, smartphones and sometimes even alcohol to voters. The CMS study reports that around INR 15,000 crores in cash were distributed among voters in the 2019 National Elections.

This leads us to one question. Is all the money worth it?

It is no rocket science that, what matters is the appeal and reputation of the candidate, not the amount of money spent by the candidate and that on an average, a candidate with a favourable image shall garner a significant amount of votes regardless of the money spent by him/her.

The answer to this question exists in contrast. While the kindness of the world would have us believe that money does not matter, yet experience says otherwise.

Out of the humongous INR 50,000 crores spent in the Lok Sabha Elections last year, almost half of the costs were incurred by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who won by a comprehensive margin. But would a less expensive campaign have given them a less favourable result? We shall not know as long as there is not a detailed analysis of Indian elections and voting practices. But what we know is that as long as the voters of this country do not fall prey to political gimmicks and publicity campaigns, and instead decide to press a particular symbol on a ballot based on a thorough review of the candidate’s performance in the last five years, the essence of democracy and integrity shall remain intact.

Delhi Assembly Elections 2020, will be a test of heavy campaigning versus ideology. It will also answer many questions regarding the future discourse of Delhi and the political discourse of the Country. The current Chief Minister (CM), Arvind Kejriwal, won a ravishing majority in the past elections despite heavy campaigning by BJP. However, a new wave of social media campaigning, tremendous on- ground marketing had engulfed the Lok Sabha Elections. This wave might drown the Delhi Elections as well.

Feature Image Credits: The Statesman

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]

Delhi’s Legislative Assembly Elections are around the corner and Manoj Tiwari seems like the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the post of Chief Minister (if not Dr. Harshvardhan). 

Of course, this is some great news as the talented, mature, responsible, all-rounder called Manoj Tiwari. A Member of Parliament (MP) from North-east Delhi, he is the epitome of the leadership which this City demands.

Here are 5 reasons why you should cast your vote for Rinkiya’s daddy.


1) He’s versatile


Manoj Tiwari was primarily a singer of Bhojpuri songs. While his musical capacity can be judged, one can’t deny the fact that Tiwari brought a resurgence in Bhojpuri music making it more accessible and mainstream for audiences in the northern mainland.

And then, he did a bit of acting. He was clearly robbed from the Filmfare award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, with his role of “Kalia” in Deshdrohi (a movie directed, written, produced by, and starring the visionary KRK aka Kamal Rashid Khan). Tiwari gives a committed performance as an intimidating hitman with dialogues like “Mera naam Kalia hai aur Kalia ka matlab tumhari maut” (My name is Kalia, and Kalia means “your death’)

Then, he was even willing to put himself under house arrest, being detained at Bigg Boss’s house for a few months. And we all know, great leaders of the world have gone to prison at some time or the other.


2) He gets what he wants


Manoj Tiwari is a determined individual. If he wants something, he’ll go through heaven and hell and Dolly Bindra to get it. When he avoided the temptations of chicken tikkas on the table, he just wanted to make an “amlate” of two eggs.

But Dolly Bindra (who metaphorically represents the opposition party) was clearly bothered by this and attacked Manoj with the power of a 120-decibel voice. Manoj was unaverred by this and walked on to get his hand on some eggs. While he couldn’t make an omelette in the end, it’s still his effort of dissent which counts.

Good leaders, and primary school kids, they need to be stubborn. And in an age of annoying political ‘boomers’, Manoj Tiwari is the kid who needs our votes.


3) He knows how to party


Manoj Tiwari is no less of a Pitbull. Just take his songs. Each of them is a banger, giving us a glimpse of his mind. In Baby “Bear” Peeke Naache (that’s the actual spelling in the video), Manoj plays a creepy bartender who makes a girl drink some bizarre kind of beer, which makes her do some bizarre dance, and then eventually get close to Manoj to give him a bizarre kiss. 

He has had more such songs on spreading love and harmony to some fast-paced beats. Goriya Chand Ke Anjoriya and Upar Wali Ke Chakkar Mei are some other classic music videos by him that you need to check out right now.

Imagine him winning the elections, and embarking on a pan-NCR concert to celebrate it! Enough reason to vote for him.


4) He’s friends with Khali


Manoj’s networking includes several people, including his fellow Bigg Boss detainee, The Great Khali. By the way, you need to check out Khali’s Instagram for its wholesome, pure content. His Instagram is one thing which will unite this entire country apart from Manoj Tiwari’s songs. 

Coming back to the point, Khali made his friendship evident in a recent video where Manoj is driving his car. Manoj smiles at the camera and says “Hum dono dost hai” (We both are friends). Now, if something happens in our city, CM Tiwari can be the Nick Fury to Great Khali’s Hulk instructing him to beat up threats to our society like “student goons”.


5) His party has progressive plans for Delhi


While Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is just campaigning on the basis of education and healthcare, BJP campaigners seem to be going to various colonies of Delhi are shouting slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai and handling short-term problems like the traffic jam caused by the Shaheen Bagh protest. Obviously, the nation’s “honour” and “integrity” come first and then the city’s development. This means that probably Manoj Tiwari’s MLAs think they’re MPs. So that’s the final reason why we should vote for Mr Tiwari cause, of course, the entity called Bharat Mata needs to be taken care of first and then the citizens of this city.


Featured Image Credits- Big Brother (YouTube)


Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]


Six former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) Presidents will be competing against each other on the day of Delhi Assembly Elections 2020 that is 8th February. Among these six former Presidents, three have been fielded by the Congress and the remaining three by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

Delhi University Students Union elections had unanimously paved way for some of the former DUSU Presidents into mainstream politics of our country. For Delhi Assembly Elections 2020, the Congress has given tickets to Rocky Tuseed, Alka Lamba, and Neetu Verma Soin. In addition, Tuseed, 25, is the youngest candidate this time and he claimed to have gained recognition all over the country when he became the DUSU President in the session 2017-2018.

Tuseed has around 500 people working for his campaign currently. During his tenure as DUSU President, he faced many obstacles that were finally resolved when he was reinstated as the union’s President after being disqualified over a pending inquiry against him.

Ashish Sood, Rekha Gupta, and Anil Jha are the three former DUSU Presidents that have been fielded by the BJP for Delhi Assembly Elections 2020. Jha was DUSU President in 1997-1998, contesting from RSS-affiliated ABVP, which acted as a stepping-stone for his mainstream political career. He stated that the Varsity politics helped him in gaining insight and trained him for mainstream politics.

Alka Lamba and Rekha Gupta were DUSU Presidents in 1995-96 and 1996-97 respectively. Lamba, a member of the Congress, will be contesting the elections from Chandni Chowk.  Also, the DUSU President of 2008, Nupur Sharma, will be contesting from New Delhi constituency. Neetu Verma Soin, Congress’ candidate from Malviya Nagar had won DUSU polls and was a student of Miranda House College. In 2002, due to her political achievements within DU, she served as the councillor from Civil Lines as well as DUSU President.

The DUSU elections have given us several infamous political leaders as their journeys began from the University itself. Some of these leaders are Arun Jaitley, Nupur Sharma, Alka Lamba, and Vijay Jolly.


Featured Image Credits: Scroll

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]


Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is promoting its Digital India campaign with full gusto- in all the wrong ways.

While, Bhartiya Janata Party, has been notorious for a couple of things, the most ridiculous of them all is the BJP IT Cell. The party is known to have a large social media team that works on sites like WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook to spread misinformation, slander, and rumors.

BJP seems to have it all figured out: the fastest way to get to the public now is to use social media. And while they already do have media houses in their pockets, social media is where everyone is. This is why, the large team is known to trend hate hashtags, share doctored videos and photos, create fake news, troll people online and even use bots to spread its propaganda. The IT Cell essentially functions like an army; it is an organized army of trolls, belonging to the party, always ready for an attack.

PM Modi is also infamous for following trolls, fake news, and threatening accounts. Kuldeep Bhandari, a man who proclaims to be a ‘social media activist’ at the BJP IT Cell, tweeted a photo of Trump pointing at Modi with the caption, “Ghar mein ghuskar kaise maarte hain mujhko isi ne sikhaya. (he taught me how to hurt people inside their own homes)” He is, unsurprisingly, followed by the PM.  “Mr. Modi is possibly the only leader in the world, who actually follows handles which give rape threats, death threats, actually put out incitement videos, peddle fake news,” said Swati Chaturvedi, the author of I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army to CNN.



(Image Source: Kuldeep Bhandari)

The very head of the BJP IT Cell, Amit Malviya, had a twitter timeline selling pornographic content and tweets providing Hot Sexi Gerls Free before him getting this position with the party.

The IT Cell has always been very active on social media: its WhatsApp forwards remains one of the prime reasons why BJP gathered such mass support. However, it recently keeps coming in the limelight. After the anti-CAA protests countrywide, their presence online has intensified. In what appears to be their panicked and thoughtless reaction, they can be seen attacking and trolling anyone who goes even slightly anti-BJP. While a lot of times these trolls are genuinely far-right Modi-bhakts, it is also found that a lot of times they just happen to be unemployed people working online for a small stipend.

When Amit Shah created a new hotline for people to phone in and show their support of the Citizenship Amendment Act, thousands of tweets popped up sharing the number. These tweets offered ‘free sex’, hot girl pics, free coupons, free Netflix and amazon prime membership, and other such attractive offers to people who called the number. So much so that even the Netflix India official account tweeted and asked people not to fall for the scam and to “use someone else’s Netflix account if you want free membership, like the rest of us.” When the publication Boomlive called the social media head Amit Malviya regarding these activities, he “cut the call hearing our query”, as reported by the site.

After Deepika Padukone was seen at a solidarity protest at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after the JNU violence orchestrated, allegedly, by ABVP, thousands of trolls lashed out on her, talking about boycotting her then-upcoming movie Chhapaak. Trolls all over India posted photos of them getting their tickets refunded; the catch? They all had the exact same seat number.

Anandi, a student of Kamala Nehru College said, “The cell is the living embodiment of being cheap and the level to which one can fall only to propagate lies and enforce their ideology on the public. False lies, rape threats, trolling, harassment, this is what the cell is synonymous with. When we asked for employment, this is not what we meant.”

The BJP Delhi official twitter handle also trolled Arvind Kejriwal in the light of upcoming Delhi elections and tweeted ‘memes’ on him. These ‘memes’ showed the problems of the city as the ‘art’ and had pictures of the Chief Minister as the ‘artist’. One of the tweets of this series, which ironically are pinned to their twitter page, came under fire for being Islamophobic as it showed a burning bus as the ‘art’ and Kejriwal in the Islamic Hat Taqiyah as the ‘Artist’.

Screenshot 2020-01-23 at 5.14.57 PM

(Image Source: BJP Delhi)

“BJP IT Cell is clearly very ignorant considering the issues that come under the jurisdiction of the central government. BJP’s twitter account trolled Kejriwal for Delhi’s rising traffic problem while completely neglecting the fact that Delhi traffic comes under the central government’s jurisdiction and they chose to stick to this even after some people pointed it out. I mean that’s just stupid and a very condescending move on their part,” said Suhani, a student from SGTB Khalsa College.

So, not only are their actions morally incorrect, but also illogical and ill-informed. But it is not as if people aren’t standing up to this virus-like ecosystem.

Amit Malviya was in the news again for saying the Shaheen Bagh protesters were all paid Rs 500-700 by the Congress party to protest. For this statement, two women of Shaheen Bagh filed a legal notice under Section 500 of the IPC (Defamation) and demanded an apology and Rs 1 crore in damages from the social media head.

A trick learned from stan twitter, the best way to engage with these trolls is to not engage. Accounts like these thrive on visibility, and the more engagement they get, the more are their ideas promoted. Report and Block: that is the only way their impact can cease. And when science has developed antiviral medicines for actual overpowering viruses, what are a group of sheep-like humans in a virus-like colony.

Featured Image Credits: Dhruv Rathee

Satviki Sanjay

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