04, Jul 2019 | CJP Team
Kamlesh Tiwari, the president of National President of the Hindu Samaj Party, has a communally loaded Facebook profile replete with anti-Islam and ‘Muslim free’ India posts. A profile analysis of Tiwari and his acolytes by our team revealed the huge amount of hateful content propagated on the social media giant. Further, he is not only spreading hatred online but has a huge presence on the ground as well and takes pride in it. Interestingly, he calls himself a social worker!
A study of his and the related profiles revealed the mammoth of hateful content that is posted by his party and the excessively communal ideology which is being spread through the social media platform. Tiwari not only blatantly talks about removing the Muslims and ending Islam from India but also about spreading Hindutva and saffronizing Pakistan. Worse, but now unfortunately common, all happens in the name of Lord Ram! Curiously, this Hindutva supremacist also claims to be both anti-Modi and anti-BJP!
CJP is dedicated to finding and bringing to light instances of Hate Speech, so that the bigots propagating these venomous ideas can be unmasked and brought to justice. To learn more about our campaign again hate speech, please become a member. To support our initiatives, please donate now!
We firmly believe in furthering the constitutional principles of fraternity, integrity and secularism. In our drive to ensure that these principles are safeguarded, we constantly keep a watch on hate mongering on social media giants like Facebook and ensure that they get reported to the authorities. Last year, CJP approached the NHRC and Facebook to report the hateful content posted by Hindutva activist Deepak Sharma that got his account banned.
Who is Kamlesh Tiwari?
Kamlesh Tiwari (43) is the National President of the Hindu Samaj Party, a political party registered in Lucknow. He had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Faizadabad, Uttar Pradesh. However, he had lost the elections. Notably, he claims to be a ‘social worker’ by profession and a graduate from Shahuji Maharaj University Kanpur in 1996. He has 8 criminal cases pending against him. Some of the charges against him include- Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, etc.; Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings; Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class; Rioting, armed with deadly weapons; Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, among others.
The Use and Misuse of Facebook
The Facebook (FB) page Kamlesh Tiwari- Hindu Samaj Party was created almost a year ago and is followed by more than 700 people. Firstly, a look at his cover picture will give a glimpse of the kind of hate mongering he and his party are indulging in. The cover picture has a photo of Kamlesh Tiwari with a few lines in Hindi about the need of progress of the Hindus and Hindutva. However, what is questionable in his cover picture is the line ‘Islam-mukt Bharat’ (Islam free India).
Tiwari also keeps on posting screenshots of news reports where he is seen making some extremely communal statements. He is a staunch supporter of building a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya and had claimed that once his party comes to power, neither Muslims nor Masjids or Madrasas will have any place in India. In a similar post published on May 4, Tiwari boasts about how his is the only party which is putting forth its plans without the fear of the Election Commission (EC).
In another such post, he wrote about how he is entirely dedicated to Hindutva and the growth of Hindus (as if the two are synonymous). The caption was written in context to a news report which mentioned Tiwari’s statement on not permitting ‘non-Hindus’ in Ayodhya, once their party comes to power. Following is the post:
Unafraid about any legal consequences, despite 8 criminal cases already pending against him, Tiwari along with his party workers took out a rally in Lucknow on February 17, 2019, where they were openly calling for violence against Muslims. Strikingly, the police force was managing the crowd but nobody bothered to (or were scared to) take any action against such calls for violence. Apart from the video of the rally, pictures were also posted with the caption ‘When we come out on the roads, the government and the administration gets scared of us. Thus, wherever we go, we get strong security. Today, in the first of its kind, our party’s rally crossed a Muslim-dominated area in Lucknow with the slogans ‘Muslim murdabad’ and ‘Muslims leave India.’
On the same day, Tiwari went live on FB where his party members can be seen gathered in a crowd while one of them says ‘Whichever Hindu soldier is listening to this, just kill them (Muslims and Pakistanis) without any second thoughts. Whatever happens next, we will look after it.” They all together then said ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ The video received 1.8k views and 90 shares.
Tiwari was especially very active on Facebook post the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019 and had intensified his party’s ‘Muslim-free and Islam-free India’ campaign. He even expressed his disapproval of the Narendra Modi led BJP government which is apparently trying to protect the minorities and formulating welfare schemes for them while ignoring the condition of our Indian (Hindu) soldiers who lost their lives because of the actions of these minorities.
On February 22, he shared an abusive post accusing the Modi government of not taking action against those who are killing the Hindus ‘in their own country.’ The post also spoke about giving every Hindu a freehand to give answers to the attackers. In another post on the same day, he said ‘chanting Jai Shri Ram or Jai Hind won’t make you a patriot or true to your religion. Instead, keep the courage to say ‘Islam Murdabad’ or join the list of impotents.’
In another anti-Modi and anti-BJP post, shared last year in September, Tiwari accused the government of bringing GST and demonetisation. It further said that this government has betrayed us as Article 370 (giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir) continues to exist and border crimes are on a constant rise. Following is the post:
Apart from multiple such communal, hateful, anti-Muslim, anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan posts, what we found the most disturbing and concerning in his entire profile was a video of a small boy (of not more than fourteen years of age) in which he is seen reciting a poem against Pakistan and Narendra Modi. In the video, shot after the Pulwama attack, which received more than 2k views, the boy in a saffron kurta reads a poem from a paper where he reminds Pakistan of 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan war and says “..tab chote se Lal Bahadur ne tumhe nanga kar daala tha…90,000 Pakistaniyo ko ghutne pe gira daala tha..” (Then, Lal Bahadur Shastri had made you (Pakistan) naked and had brought you down to your knees.) He further goes on to say that while our soldiers are dying, Mr. Modi is busy in his election rallies. It is essential to note that at the end of the video, he, through actions, asks someone (who is shooting the video) whether it’s done or whether it was proper.
While each one of us have the right to free speech and opinion, hate speech, targeting as it does the weak and marginalised, is not free speech. It is more objectionable when young children are made to do such things by some powerful figures which in the course brainwashes them and makes them believe the hateful things to be the final truth. This is nothing less than radicalization of the youth in the name of patriotism.
On June 27, Tiwari’s party had marched to the District Magistrate’s office in Lucknow demanding scholarship benefits for the Hindus stating that the Modi government was working only for the Muslims, the ‘Jihadis.’ Not surprisingly, yet unfortunately, he said, “Modi government will give scholarships to Muslim children who will then go to study in the Madrasas and become terrorists.”
While our team was examining Tiwari’s profile, we noticed that he shared a lot of posts from another man’s FB profile named Vivek Shukla. We thus analysed his profile as well and came across another bunch of hateful and abusive posts. As per his FB profile, Shukla is the District Incharge, Etawah, UP of the Hindu Samaj Party and an engineer. His cover picture was of Kamlesh Tiwari, conveying the respect the party has for its head.
On May 8, he shared a post which read “Hindus, you’ll still have time, wake up. Otherwise, Godhra will be repeated once again. Jai Hindu, Jai Kamlesh.” In another post on May 5, he wrote “We love our Hindu religion. Those who do not belong to this religion, find some other country to live in.” While Kamlesh Tiwari was contesting the 2019 elections, he posted “Hurt those who are against the Hindus.” Notably, all such posts are shared with a saffron background.
Another Hindutva activist named Gaurav Kumar Jha is the State President of the Jharkhand wing of the Hindu Samaj Party. Like others, his FB profile is another accumulation of anti-Muslim posts. In a video posted about two weeks ago, Jha is seen speaking about why his party, which earlier supported BJP, decided to go ahead alone as “BJP is talking about minority rights.” He further demanded that every Hindu should be allowed to keep a sword in their house and automatic weapons should be developed that will help make Jharkhand Muslim free. This is crucial to note considering that just a week ago, a 24-year old Muslim man, Tabrez Ansari was lynched and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman. Four days later, he lost his life. Strikingly, on June 26, Jha in his FB post said “The entire nation is shock over the death of a thief” as if justifying the incident. Can there then be a connect between what happened with Ansari and what people like Jha and Tiwari are propagating on social media as well as on the ground? May be!
All in all, FB is increasingly becoming a platform for spreading communal hatred and instigating the masses. It has become a breeding ground of hate speech with no stringent action from the social media giant. Even the Equality Labs report on Facebook India concluded that Islamophobia dominated Indian hate speech while 93% of the reported posts continued to be there on FB.
We are unfortunately moving towards an era where social media is becoming an active platform to radicalize and divide the society. Our national fabric is under severe threat and there is a need for urgent action. We should together not only put a stop to this hate mongering but also report this to the concerned authorities. People like Kamlesh Tiwari and his party are driven by a very malicious agenda which will, if unchecked, destroy the foundational basis on which our India has grown and prospered.