Though busted in no time, BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s tweet asking people to protest the risible communal violence in West Bengal, particularly Baduria in Basirhat, still remains as we write this.
The tweet, trending the hashtag #SaveBengal, nevertheless uses a stock photo of Gujarat 2002 riots, and Sharma has neither apologised, nor deleted the tweet, or explained its highly ironical, almost self-referential use in order to push a rallying cry to “save Bengal”, ostensibly from its chief minister and her Islamist “appeasement”.
The actual picture.
The barrage of fake images, including photoshopped stills of Bhojpuri movies that star the likes of BJP’s Delhi face, Manoj Tiwari, are being passed off as modern-day communalised Bengal. Circulating fake news and fake images has reached a pathological proportion and it seems most BJP leaders actively participate, tweet or retweet such images that are highly questionable and are designed to divide.
In fact, in case of Basirhat riots, fake news busters have painstakingly pointed out the continued and malicious use of morphed images on a non-stop basis, including a morphed image that sparked the riots in the first place. While freedom of expression is certainly a big concern here as Muslim rioters demanded to lynch a boy who shared such a deliberately tweaked image that has been circulating online, the question remains on the source of the image.
As reported by Alt News, the BJP Haryana’s state executive member Vijeta Malik shared the a film still from a Bhojpuri film, Aurat Khilona Nahin, starring, ironically enough, BJP’s Delhi face, to cry hoarse on how Hindus are being targeted in Bengal. Fake news busters like @SMHoaxSlayer have put out the actual movie clip to dispel myths and confusion.
The latest instance involving Nupur Sharma’s unapologetic rant and deliberate use of divisive language, such as referring to CM Banerjee as “Apaa” (big sister in Urdu), and other inciting techniques, has raised a number of questions.
BJP MPs detained by Mamata Banerjee Govt at Kol Airport! What is there to hide Didi/Appa? How can U stop citizens from entering #SaveBengal?— Nupur Sharma (@NupurSharmaBJP) July 8, 2017
It also shows that this is routine practice among the BJP rank and file now, who are hardly hiding their overtly communal, anti-Muslim polarising ideology under the veneer of development.
CPIM,Congress,Muslim League ,MIM are anti RSS because they r inherently anti -Hindu.See their position&posture on communal riots in Bengal.— Prof Rakesh Sinha (@RakeshSinha01) July 7, 2017
The response on Twitter condemning these deliberate attempts to cash in on a sensitive situation has been overwhelming:
BJP MP using Gujarat riots pictures to depict situation in West Bengal. What have we come to ? Is this an anarchy ?— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) July 9, 2017
Many, many people have pointed out the falsehood in this Tweet by BJP spokie. And yet not deleted /expressed regret. https://t.co/7lLKWM2jYr— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) July 9, 2017
BJP leader uses image from Gujarat 2002 to talk about Bengal. Stupid or malicious? With the BJP, both fit. https://t.co/VUNFgaHqZZ— Amit Varma (@amitvarma) July 9, 2017
BJP Spokesperson using picture of 2002 Gujarat pogrom (Under Modi) & presenting it as though it's from Bengal. Shameful & irresponsible! pic.twitter.com/zAIMwS630Y— Prerna Bakshi (@bprerna) July 9, 2017
Is it true that Gujarat riot pics are being used in 'Save Bengal' publicity material? If so, it's beyond shocking.It's shameful!— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 9, 2017
Looks like there is still hope in this world. But will the BJP/RSS mend their ways?