The Editors Guild of India (EGI) slammed the BJP’s IT cell head, Amit Malviya, on Saturday for running an offensive online poll on journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. Malviya conducted a ‘poll’ on his Twitter handle, asking whether “Rajdeep Sardesai should handle PR for ISIS.” He gave four options for Twitter users to vote: ‘agree’, ‘strongly agree’, ‘disagree’, and ‘he is irrelevant’. The poll was very provocative and has put a huge risk on the life of a respected senior journalist like Sardesai. Though the guild reacted very mildly and very late, it has made the right move by slamming the BJP’s IT cell head. It is becoming a trend for those who raise their voice against the ruling establishment to be targeted in such a way by the troll army of the BJP, led by Malviya.
Tags like urban naxal, antinational, jihadi, etc, are given to anyone who opposes the wrong policies of the ruling BJP. However, Malviya crossed all limits by trying to portray Rajdeep Sardesai as some kind of ISIS sympathizer. The EGI should have banned Malviya till he had issued a formal apology. India Today news channel, in which Sardesai works, should have also taken a strong stand against such bigotry. This is not for the first time that Malviya has indulged in such slanderous activity. He has been accused of sharing fake videos and fake news on social media. Some of the videos shared by him are alleged to have been doctored to suit the narrative of his party. It is unfortunate that the IT cell head of the ruling party behaves like a troll and encourages the supporters to abuse journalists, activists and opposition leaders. This kind of behaviour is condemnable. The BJP should rein in Malviya and put an end to his abusive behaviour on social media.