New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who returned to India on Saturday following her week-long visit to four European nations, has taken to task the trolls who targeted her over the controversy surrounding the transfer of a passport officer in Lucknow by naming and shaming them on her Twitter account.
Swaraj, who is known for taking prompt action on citizen’s complaints and is often praised for it, on Sunday used the platform to highlight the abuse she has been facing for the ministry's action against passport officer Vikas Mishra, who had allegedly humiliated an interfaith couple in Lucknow.
The passport officer was transferred after the couple tagged Swaraj with their complaint. In their tweets, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and Tanvi Seth had alleged that Mishra had asked the husband to convert to Hinduism and pulled up the wife for marrying a Muslim in front of several others.
The couple's passports were issued a day after they complained to Swaraj on Twitter. The Regional Passport Office in Lucknow shunted Mishra to Gorakhpur the same day.
The union minister on Sunday shared a sample of the tweets she has been receiving since she ordered the transfer of the officer, who had claimed that he was just doing his duty. “I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them (sic),” she wrote.
The two tweets that Sushma Swaraj “liked” and retweeted are abusive and communal in nature.
She is almost dead woman as she runs on only one kidney (borrowed from some one else ) and any time that can stop working .— Capt Sarbjit Dhillon (@dhillonsarbjit2) June 22, 2018
A cursory search on social media platforms throws up several more abusive tweets, most of them with the hashtag ‘I Stand With Vikas Mishra’.
A twitter user named Sheldon’s cat wrote that it seems Swaraj wants to join Congress which is why she is trying to prove she is “sickular”. “Shame on her for favouring muslims. Shame on her for granting visas to Pakis. Shame on her for subverting laws,” the user tweeted.
It seems Sushma ji wants to join congress so she is proving more sickular than pappus and pidis. Shame on her for favouring muslims. Shame on her for granting visas to Pakis. Shame on her for subverting laws.— Sheldon's Cat (@JangleeBilla) June 23, 2018
Another by the name of Rishi Bagree said he had decided to unfollow the minister. “Sacrificing an honest officer to boost your secular quotient is simply unacceptable,” he wrote. One user Anirudh Routray said the transfer “spoilt all Hindus Sentiments by this cheap appeasement mentality.”
If u r Muslim, No verification needed is the new Rule by Passport Matah @SushmaSwaraj.This lady has spoilt all Hindus Sentiments by thhis cheap appeasement mentality.Her twitter works only, she never worked.— Anirudh Routray (@anirudharoutray) June 24, 2018
She also faced nasty backlash on her Facebook page from her own BJP supporters, some of whom even demanded her removal from the union cabinet for being “too secular”.
Such was the campaign that Swaraj had to turn off the review option on her Facebook page. Her page’s rating had gone down from 4.3 star to 1.4 star in just a few hours. According to an estimate, more than 30,000 reviews were posted in a span of just a few hours.