Indian right-wing group chief triggers Twitter row

Twitter users use #Inthenameofreligion to talk about journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder.

Dubai


Pramod Muthalik, the chief of Sri Ram Sene, a right-wing Hindutva group in India triggered a Twitter row after he likened Gauri Lankesh to a ‘dog’.

Many Twitter users supporting Lankesh, the slain Indian journalist, slammed Muthalik for the analogy.

According to media reports, a video of Muthalik addressing supporters of the fringe outfit is doing rounds on social media. Defending Narendra Modi over his silence on Lankesh’s murder, Muthalik allegedly asked why should the Prime Minister react “every time a dog dies in Karnataka”.

Tweep @shahid_siddiqui wrote: “Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik likens Gauri Lankesh to a dog, do we expect anything else from these terrorists? Mind it I am calling this man a terrorist so let not all Bhakts (Hindutva right-wing ideologists) and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) supporters get worked up and call me anti-Hindu.”

However, some tweeps from Karnataka said that Muthalik’s words were lost in translation and misinterpreted. Twitter user @gangakibaat wrote: “Muthalik is a bigoted extremist individual but now he didn’t compare Gauri Lankesh to a dog. Ask a person who knows Kannada and don’t spread wrong news.”

Many used the hashtag #Inthenameofreligion along with June 16 news reports about the interrogation of Lankesh’s murderer.

Tweep @AudaciousQuest posted: “This is a clear case of terrorism by brain-washing. ‘I was told I had to kill someone to save my religion. I didn’t know who the victim was. Now I feel that I shouldn’t have killed the woman.’ – #GauriLankesh’s killer Parashuram Waghmore”

Twitter user @sontybajaj added: “#BJPBhagaoDeshBachao (Get rid of BJP to save the nation) #gaurikillerarrested #InTheNameOfReligion”

Some tweeps expressed dismay at the socio-political situation in the country. Tweep @CGyrish posted: “They didn’t kill directly but indirectly ruined humanity, killed the economy of this country, looted people in the name of God and discriminated people in the name of caste and religion. These people are killing people to save their religion.”

And @TamalKundu1 wrote: “The new India that rose from the ashes of colonialism, we thought it would be a secular, socilist democracy. In 2018, how much any of that holds true. #GauriLankesh”

The activists of controversial right-wing group Sri Ram Sena had also started a fundraising campaign on Facebook to help Gauri Lankesh’s alleged shooter Parashuram Waghmore get legal aid.

A report on the online news portal The News Minute said: “Can you not share a portion of your earnings, a morsel of your food with patriots? Parashuram Waghmore’s family is in a financial crunch. Please help them by donating money.”

On Thursday the Women’s Wing Chief of the group posted a threatening message on Facebook: “There will be a Parashuram Waghmare born in every house if anti-Hindu activities continue to be carried out by elements who are trying to sabotage the foundation of Hindutva in this country.”

Gauri Lankesh was an Indian journalist-turned-activist from Bangalore, Karnataka. She was known for her anti-Hindutva voice. Lankesh was assassinated on September 5, 2017, at her residence in Bengaluru triggering nationwide outrage.

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