A tweet from RSS Pracharak and Media wing in-charge of RSS Karnataka Dakshina Pranth Sri Pradeep Mysuru which only posed a question to Bengaluru’s Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy of Congress has resulted in possibly what is called “intolerance”. As a result of which, Pradeep is now blocked by the MLA.
The story unfolds this way. A line from Kannada poem authored by the first Jnanapith Award winner Dr. K V Puttappa (Kuvempu) goes “Barisu Kannada Dimdimava, Oh Karnataka Hrudaya Shiva”
The state festival Kannada Rajyotsava is celebrated throughout the month of November and ‘Om Kannada Mariyammana Karunada Sangha’ based out of Jayanagar, Bengaluru used the line from the poet laureate’s ode in their poster by changing Shiva to Yesu. The poster carried the photo of Jayanagar’s MLA Miss Sowmya Reddy who would be the chief guest of their program. Ms.Reddy, daughter of Ex minister Ramalinga Reddy, has been known for her “secularism” façade. She had posted a recent photo during Navaratri by having Jesus Christ and Mosque photo along side Bhagawan Ganesh’s picture. She was offering an arati to the photos.
While the need for a bringing in Yesu (Jesus Christ) in the poster by deforming the poem was an attempt to tarnish the image of the poet and the emotion associated, the social media started questioning Ms. Reddy over the poster. Soumya Reddy tweeted after these questioning went viral on social media. Soumya Reddy evading the questions posed to her, and eventually posted a clarification on Twitter.
Sri Pradeep Mysuru who is full time RSS worker(Pracharak) and also holds the responsibility of media in RSS for Karnataka Dakshina Pranth also asked Soumya on Twitter “You have provided a clarification but not yet answered the questions which are in the open world. You were asked to write an essay on the cow,instead you have written an essay about the pole to which it was tied to!”
Pradeep Mysuru did receive an answer to his tweet and it was through blocking of him on Twitter by the MLA.
While one could argue that blocking on Twitter is a personal choice the moot points to be considered here are as below:
1. There was no derogatory content posted by Pradeep
2. Tweet by Pradeep to Soumya was a natural mood of the Twitterati
People’s representatives have a role to play by serving the people. On social media their responsibility is higher in answering and entering healthy debates. Evading from questions is highly unacceptable from people’s representatives. Congress has been notorious in stifling voices (not just from the days of Emergency of 1975 but from way earlier). The voices were restrained by the Congress Government under Siddaramaiah rule as well as the coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy and Congress.
The blocking of people on social media is more of a hit and run from debate lacking the courage to face tough questions. It also is a display of controlling the opinions which are against their thought process and a digital form of stifling voices. While the demand is not to have Pradeep unblocked, but MLA Soumya Reddy and many like her could get strong intellectually and enter debates more freely.
Was it RSS in the bio of Pradeep Mysuru itself lead to the “intolerance”? The answer to the above if goes in affirmation is much more dangerous.
Post being blocked, Pradeep Mysuru tweeted, It has been proved that paying heed to opinions, answering without scooting and blocking are beyond the capabilities of Congress’ Soumya Reddy. What more can one expect from the party (Congress) under Siddaramaiah who had imposed on the people of Karnataka, the Jayanti of Tipu Sultan the Kannada antagonist.