The Election Commission has ordered Twitter to suspend a satire handle Padhalika which lampoons self-styled liberals and criticizes Islamic fundamentalism to be taken down. The order has been signed by Sayyid Rabeehashmi, a bureaucrat working in the Election Commission of India
Bengaluru: Nearly a fortnight after the FaceBook page of MyNation was taken down without intimation or explanation, the Election Commission of India has asked prominent satirical Twitter handle @padhalikha, which lampoons self-styled liberals and criticises Islamic fundamentalism, to be taken down.
Issuing instructions in this regard to Twitter to “take down the account at the earliest”, the notice states that the “account violates section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting the religion or religious beliefs.”
The order is signed by Sayyid Rabeehashmi, a bureaucrat employed with the Election Commission of India.
He, sources say, was helped by the Zakat Foundation of India (an organisation helping civil aspirants to take up the exam) to crack the UPSC exam, eventually landing him a job at the Election Commission.
MyNation got in touch with a person who used to tweet with the mentioned handle. He said that it is well within the permissible limits of the Indian Constitution to criticise and be satirical about things that act as an anathema to the well-being of the society. Be it any religion, he added, it is always good to point out the errors and rectify them, instead of feeling hurt and being targeted.
He said the arbitrary behaviour of the social media companies just before elections raises several pertinent questions: If every Twitter account is governed by same rules and etiquettes, why didn’t this bureaucrat working in the Election Commission of India use his clout to shut down accounts like @AmbedkarCaravan, which regularly abuses Hindus?
According to him, “Does a fair criticism of the fundamentalism in Islam amount to abuse of freedom of speech and expression? And when it comes to hurting the sentiments of the majority community, does it automatically qualify as freedom of speech and expression?”
Sayyid Rabeehashmi is yet to respond on the issue and we will keep you updated as and when he issues a statement.
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Last Updated Apr 11, 2019, 7:22 PM IST