SHIV NAIDU | 29 AUGUST, 2018
Twitter Strikes Back: #MeTooUrbanNaxal Trends In Response To Raids On Activists
NEW DELHI: As civil society at large expresses widespread condemnation at the arrests of intellectuals and activists by the Pune Police, a strong measure of protest has come courtesy microblogging site Twitter. The charges for the arrests were alleged links to Maoist groups, who police say were involved in the Bhima Koregaon stir in Maharashtra. There is little to support this allegation, and several hard hitting statements condemning the arrests have pointed to the flimsy evidence.
Many took to Twitter to point out the absurdity of the arrests, encapsulated best in the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal -- a play on Republic TV’s hashtag #UrbanNaxal that it had peddled in connection to Sudha Bharadwaj.
The hashtag was trending on Twitter, and the Tweets use irony to register a very strong protest.
The tweets were initially in response to Vivek Agnihotri’s tweet asking for a list of “those defending #UrabnNaxals” but very soon, thousands of people began using the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal to point to the absurdity of the arrests and raids, and of the description ‘urban naxal’ in general.
The Tweet that started it all:
The responses that speak for themselves: