Former CBI Director M Nageswara Rao came under intense backlash after he said in a tweet that death popular Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh was a ‘good riddance’. The tweet was taken down by the Twitter on Saturday after uproar from several quarters of the society.
Rao’s tweet came hours after renowned leader passed away on Friday. Rao said Swami was an “anti-Hindu in saffron robes" and said his death was a “good riddance".
Taking to microblogging website Twitter, IPS officer M Nageswara Rao, who served as interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2019, mounted a scathing attack on Agnivesh, who was often under attack by Hindu extremists for his stand on controversial issues. Swami passed away at Delhi’s Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences after succumbing to liver cirrhosis.
“GOOD RIDDANCE @swamiagnivesh. You were an Anti-Hindu donning saffron clothes. You did enormous damage to Hinduism. I am ashamed that you were born as a Telugu Brahmin," Rao wrote while sharing the news of his death. He went on to call Agnivesh a “lion in sheep clothes" and added, “My grievance against Yamaraj is why did he wait this long!".
The statement was condemned by several people and groups, including Indian Police Foundation.
Tweeting such hate messages by a retired officer posing as an IPS officer - he has desecrated the police uniform which he wore and embarrassed the government. He demoralises the entire police force in the country, especially the young officers. https://t.co/qOiI8D6dkO— Indian Police Foundation (@IPF_ORG) September 12, 2020
Swami Agnivesh was celebrated campaigner against bonded labour, a bridge between the government and Maoist leadership, part of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade, Arya Samaj leader and a reality TV participant. He was best-known for his concerted battle against bonded labour. His organisation Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM) was formed in 1981 to rid India of what his website calls “scourge of bonded and child labour".
He was also a firebrand politician. In 1977, he was elected to the Haryana Assembly and even was made education minister after a while. However, the rebel he was, he resigned from the post soon enough.
Always found to be wearing a saffron robe, he used to call saffron the colour of sacrifice, commitment and purity. “It matters little if you call me “Swami Agnivesh or simply “Agnivesh". All that matters is the fire inside me, the presence of the divine in the inner temple of my being, should continue to blaze till the end," he had once said.
A popular leader of the Arya Samaj, he was elected President of the World Council of Arya Samaj (Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha) in 2004.
One of the visually disturbing images of him that stayed in public memory was him being attacked by nationalist groups, alleged to be BJYM members, during a visit to Jharkhand.
However, an unexpected move that surprised and amused his admirers at the same time was Agnivesh participating in the reality show ‘Bigg Boss’.