21, Feb 2022 | CJP Team
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Gujarat unit thought they could get away by posting a dangerous and offensive ‘carricature’ showing skullcap wearing bearded Muslim men being hung to death. The text read “Satyamev Jayate” and “No Forgiveness to those spreading terror”. In a few days, the world will mark 20 years of the anti-Muslim pogrom that unleashed horror in Gujarat. It may not be a mere coincidence that this caricature was tweeted by the Gujarat unit of the BJP after 38 people convicted in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case were sentenced to death by the special court.
The offensive caricature was posted on @BJP4Gujarat, the official verified handle of Gujarat’s BJP unit, on Saturday, February 19, a day after the special court sentenced to death 38 convicts and handed life terms to 11 others in the 2008 serial bombing case in which 56 persons lost their lives and over 200 were injured. The caricature was posted when the detailed court judgement was made public.
The BJP’s Gujarat unit perhaps took that as their cue to “hail” the verdict and depict its version of Muslim men being hung on the noose. However, the verified social media handles perhaps did not account for alert social media users who rightfully reported the offensive post on both Twitter and Instagram.
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D imagery, design shd be tracked to d BJP leadership in the state and Centre!The Image is gross: it shows young men in skull caps together under hangman’s noose; caption “GENOCIDE.” Indiia’s largest political party ! #Bjp4Gujarat #Genocide @jigneshmevani80
— Teesta Setalvad (@TeestaSetalvad) February 20, 2022
I reported it on insta, and see the reply! pic.twitter.com/ItdwrXd1bb
— Shweta soni (@Shwetasoni1903) February 20, 2022
Twitter later removed the post saying it has “violated” their rules. Citizens for Justice and Peace was among the first to report it. The tweet was widely circulated on social media, and was removed after outrage followed. However Instagram initially refused to remove the post and responded saying, “The post likely does not go against our community guidelines”. Team CJP responded and asked for a review of that decision.
Eventually the post was removed from the BJP Gujarat timeline though it is not clear if it was deleted by the user or by Instagram. Meanwhile another post with the hangman’s noose remains on its page.
View this post on Instagram
According to news reports, Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yagnesh Dave said on Sunday, “The post on the 2008 serial blasts verdict has been removed by Twitter after someone reported against it.” However, he maintained it was in “response” to the court’s judgement.
As elections in various Assembly constituencies in five states are either underway, or have recently concluded, social media posts have become yet another way to fuel communal hate and polarision. Therefore, CJP moved the State Election Commission (SEC), Uttar Pradesh against BJP MLA Mayankeshwar Singh, Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, for his outright criminal and partisan campaign which came to light in video circulating on the social media platforms where he can be seen delivering distinctly hateful and communal remarks during the election campaigns, which spread communal disharmony and also fuelled hate against Muslims and Islam. The elected official (MLA) is also heard encouraging and influencing voters to commit acts that are disrespectful towards Islam and Muslims.
Around February 15, 2022, Bharatiya Janata Party’s T Raja Singh, an MLA from the Goshamahal Assembly of Hyderabad, Telangana, also released a video on social media threatening Uttar Pradesh’s Hindu voters to re-elect the Adityanath-led BJP government, which was circulated widely on social media. He was heard and seen warning the voters that if they do not vote for a “Yogi-government” then their houses will be identified and destroyed with bulldozers and JCBs. On Saturday, the Election Commission censured T Raja Singh for threatening people to vote for his party in Uttar Pradesh, and barred him from campaigning for 72 hours. It also directed the chief electoral officer, Telangana, to register an FIR against Singh under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act, stated news reports.
Image Courtesy: Bjpgujarat/Instagram