- World News
- In Pics
A man with the twitter handle @bhasadu was charged and arrested under the draconian Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act for a series of tweets that allegedly belittled Milkha Singh’s achievements. Incensed by the tweets, the Milkha Singh Association, a die-hard fan club of the flying Sikh, filed a FIR with the Delhi police cyber call against the tweeter for, amongst other things, ‘causing annoyance and inconvenience’ – an offence that is non-bailable and punishable with imprisonment of up to 3 years under 66A.
It all started when the man with the twitter handle @Bhasadu posted this message on Twitter: “Which Olympics did Milkha Singh win a Gold medal in 400mts? #Curious”
The innocuous post immediately triggered a mini shit-storm on Twitter after a few RTs brought the post to Milkha Singh’s fans. A Milkha fan boy going by the name @MilkhaMen tweeted: “@Bhasadu You Mofo..you S-hole..you go and lick Paki boots..how dare you make fun of legend like Milkha Singh..”
Not one to give in easily, @Bhasadu replied, “Look, I know he is a great and all, but he never won a medal in Olympics or the World Championships, did he?”
@Milkha Men hit back, immediately tweeting: “@Bhasadu you fat focker..have you even run 400mts in all your life? How dare you? He came 4th in 1960 Olympics, less then 1 second behind the winner.”
In line with the spirit of Twitter trolling, @Bhasadu hit back with, “All I am saying is he was one of the favourites at 1960 Olympics and he didn’t even win a medal. One might even be tempted to say he choked. *cough*”
Soon, other trolls joined the fracas. A young girl who never heard of Milkha Singh before watching Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and goes by the twitter handle @LulzGalShilpi – her bio says she is “a 16 year old girl who’s here for lulz” – tweeted: “Leave him ya.. @Bhasadu is jus jealous of Milka Sins body..Looser! Milkas so HOT! #Lovz”
Realizing that the girl has never seen a picture of Milkha Singh before, @Bhasadu tweeted: . “@LulzGalShilpi you are confusing Milkha with Farhan..Milkha wasn’t too muscular..google his pics..can’t understand why Farhan put on so much muscle to play Milkha..”
Now Javed Akthar, perceiving this as a slight on his son Farhan and spotting an opportunity to bash Modi, joined the melee with this salvo: “This @bhasadu looks like a Hindu Nationalist cultivated by Modi..He is just angry that Farhan – a Muslim – played the lead role in a great movie..Surely, he got his education at an RSS Shakha.”
It was a matter of time before politicians weighed in on the subject. Shashi Tharoor, never one to let an opportunity to play up India’s pluralistic and multicultural ethos go by, tweeted: “BMB is a movie made in a Hindu majority country, with a Muslim playing a Sikh, whose greatest moment came in a Catholic Christian country.”
The Grand Old Monk of India, Rajdeep Sardesai, whined: “People who never ran a 400mts race in their life want to criticize a legend like Milkha Singh..sad that today’s generation has no respect for anyone..”
Well aware of Rajdeep’s reactions to reason, @Bhasadu, knowing that he will be blocked, tweeted: . @RajdeepSardesai So that’s how it works? Tell me Rajdeep, you have never been a politician or the CM of a State, yet you criticize Modi. Is that Ok?”
The inevitable happened:*Rajdeep Blocks @Bhasadu*
Having had enough of @Bhasadu, @Milkha-Men filed a case in Delhi’s Karol Bagh police station. Fellow twitterati were outraged once again at the unconstitutional nature of Section 66A which is seen as being in direct conflict with the fundamental right of Freedom of Expression.
However, this view didn’t find much sympathy with the Congress ministers who saw this as an opportunity to win over some fence-sitting Sikh voters. Minister of State for Home Affairs, RPN Singh, supporting the use of 66A against @Bhasadu tweeted: “This is a great example of the vision of Rahul Gandhi. He was the who had the vision to incorporate 66A to punish such people offending minorities. #VisionaryLeader”
Fittingly, the thread ended with Minister of everything that is holistic, Manish Tewari, having the last word with this gem: “It was under the holistic leadership of Soniaji and Rahulji that IT Act 2000 was amended in 2008 to incorporate 66A and make it a Holistic Law. #BeHolisticBeCool”
Of course, no could intelligibly respond to that and the twitter shit-storm abated before it could inflict any further damage to India’s social fabric.