Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday ordered a probe into tweets by Indian celebrities on the farmers’ stir.
Last week, celebrities and sportspersons such as Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Saina Nehwal, Sachin Tendulkar, and Lata Mangeshkar among others rallied around the government via social media, using hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda, to counter tweets by foreign celebrities including Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg in support of the farmers’ protest.
However, Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, tweeted: “Theatre of absurd in full flow, now Maharastra HM @AnilDeshmukhNCP wants @MumbaiPolice to plunge down the same idiotic rabbit hole as @AmitShah sent the @DelhiPolice last week !”
Following the stir on social media, Congress’ Sachin Sawant had demanded a probe to find out whether national celebrities were under pressure from the government. Today (February 8), Sawant met home minister Anil Deshmukh via Zoom as the latter is quarantined after contracting Covid-19. The Congress leader demanded an inquiry into these tweets.
“Reactions are coming in from celebrities across the world. Celebrities like Rihanna also responded. Following that renowned people from their field – Sachin Tendulkar, Lata ji, Akshay Kumar have tweeted. But you have a question about the timing of the tweets and if it was done due to pressure, the tweet by Akshay Kumar and Saina Nehwal looks similar,” said Anil Deshmukh.
“Whatever objection you have raised, our intelligence agency will probe,” said Deshmukh.
The minister further added, “There is not even a difference of words. The lines are the same. Even timings are the same. This is a serious matter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have spoken to the farmers and have ended the issue.”
Deshmukh also said that there have been several incidents of acting against those speaking against the Centre.
Stating that he spoke to home minister Anil Deshmukh and he has given orders to the Intelligence department to probe into this matter, Sawant said, “We have cited common words like ‘amicable’ in these tweets. If BJP is intimidating our national heroes, they should be provided security.”
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar was trolled by social media users after he posted a tweet saying India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised, adding, “External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation.”
A day ago, Raj Thackeray had said that the government should not have exposed them (Sachin and Lata Mangeshkar) to such trolling by involving them in its campaign to counter tweets by foreign celebrities in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest.