Is BJP IT Cell behind trolling of MakeMyTrip’s Keyur Joshi?
Sadhavi Khosla, a former volunteer at BJP’s IT Cell, says that Keyur Joshi’s trolling is very similar to what had happened to actor Aamir Khan in 2015
MakeMyTrip’s co-founder Keyur Joshi has been hounded out from Twitter after he took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his opposition to a “ban on beef.” A supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Joshi deleted his Twitter account after his views didn’t go down well with a section of Twitter users, who were viewed as supporting a ban on beef.
A gazette notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on May 23, that called for banning of cattle slaughter across the country, is being vehemently contested by a sizable chunk of India’s population, an effort being led by Kerala’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government.
Make My Trip’s Joshi weighed in on the ongoing controversy on Wednesday, only to be grossly outnumbered, bullied, and eventually being forced to quit Twitter altogether. Joshi’s departure from the social media platform didn’t end matters, as his trolls also demanded an economic boycott of Make My Trip, which is India’s largest online travel company and could be a good poster-boy of PM Modi’s ‘Startup India’ initiative.
“#Boycott MakeMyTrip” was a leading trend on Twitter on Wednesday.
While the economic impact of Wednesday night’s boycott on MakeMyTrip isn’t clear yet, the online trolling and, what appeared to be, a concerted campaign brought back memories of 2015 when trolls forced Indian E-Commerce giant Snapdeal to dump actor Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador, apparently on orders of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Information Technology (IT) Cell.
‘BJP IT Cell behind bullying Joshi’
Sadhavi Khosla, a former volunteer at BJP’s IT Cell, believes that Joshi’s trolling bears the imprint of the BJP IT cell.
“I am sure this is all managed by the BJP IT Cell and they must aggressively be pushing their supporters through WhatsApp to uninstall MakeMyTrip,” Khosla told National Herald
“I am sure this is all managed by the BJP IT Cell and they must aggressively be pushing their supporters through WhatsApp to uninstall MakeMyTrip,” Khosla told National Herald.
An ex-volunteer at National Digital Operations Centre (NDOC), the BJP’s digital-campaign wing, Khosla had spilled the beans about party’s hand in online bullying of Aamir Khan to a journalist, who had then recorded the account in a book, I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP's Digital Army authored by journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
“It’s insane. It’s similar to what they did to Aamir Khan and Snapdeal. Joshi has been accused of being as anti-Hindu and anti-national, just like the way I was accused after I exposed the BJP,” Khosla said.
Billing bhakts as “legends of trolling business,” she remarked, “They are back to doing what they are best at: Polarising people and in trolling, none can beat them.”
MakeMyTrip issued a statement late on Wednesday evening, clarifying that Joshi’s views were his “personal thoughts.”
The travel portal, however, seemed to have missed that Joshi was still listed as one of its co-founders on the company website.
- Sadhavi Khosla
- BJP IT Cell
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- beef ban
- Keyur Joshi
- Startup India
- Left Democratic Front
- I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP's Digital Army