Amid scathing criticism of the government and Maharashtra police over sweeping raids and arrests of leading rights’ activists, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri on Wednesday became a target of ridicule on Twitter soon after he took to the social networking site calling "some young people" to make a list of "urban Naxals".
A known supporter of the ruling party, Agnihotri has also authored a book of the same title. He is also a notoriously famous critic of the people who call out Hindutva bigotry on social media. This time also, he didn’t mind branding all those criticising police action on activists, as "anti-nationals" and "intellectual liberal fools".
Soon after his tweet, Alt News founder Pratik Sinha volunteered his name for the proposed list. “Let's tag @vivekagnihotri with the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal and help him build his list. We should all help this man in his noble endeavour,” he wrote on Twitter in response to Agnihotri’s tweet.
Within no time #MeTooUrbanNaxal started trending on Indian Twitter with many writers, journalists, activists, lawyers and several leading members of the civil society coming forward to be on Agnihotri's list. Here’s a collection of some top reactions to Agnihotri’s tweet:
Earlier, on Tuesday Maharashtra police arrested noted activists like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navalakha, Prof Anand Teltumde, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Vara Vara Rao as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad on December 31 last year and the alleged Maoist links of the people who participated in the event.
In June, five activists were arrested on the suspicion of inciting the caste-based violence on January 1. Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.