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A former fan of Kumar Vishvas writes how he lost respect for the AAP leader

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In today’s digital era, Twitter has become a revolutionary space where every individual can publicly express his feelings in certain limited characters. But, nowadays, seeing its huge dominance in public life, sometimes it turns into a platform for ugly combats among public figures. Trolling has become a general phenomenon over here and even the celebrities are also not untouched with this.

It has also become a platform where anyone slightly stronger with facts or good at sarcasm leaves no opportunity to ridicule and denigrate others, more particularly his or her political opponents. One such man is Mr. Kumar Vishvas, the confused right-leaning leader of a left-inclined political party.

He leaves no opportunity to publicly humiliate his opponents when he is slightly stronger with facts, and when he is not, through his cheap sarcasm and ill-logic. Recently, he had tried to troll the Union Minister of State Kiren Rijiju. He often trolls the storyteller Chetan Bhagat as well. There are many more in the list to add, who more often, get trolled by him. He is a master of his own class, the cheap sarcasm.

Mr. Kumar Vishvas is also infamous for being blatantly disrespectful towards women and the history of his public life endorses this fact. His infamous sexist and racist jibes on Kerala’s nurses is not a hidden secret. During election campaigns in Amethi, he had ridiculed Smirti Irani by calling her “Irani or Pakistani”. Not only that, on several occasions, he has been spotted mocking women on stages in the Kavi Sammelan he attends.

In one of his recent despicable Twitter trolling instances, he went on to term Shilpi Tewari as an illiterate Modi fan, because she had incorrectly mentioned late poet Shiv Mangal Singh Suman’s poem as Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem. However, she had corrected herself even before Dr. Vishvas could notice it and attempt to mock her.

But as I said, he leaves no opportunity to ridicule someone, so he was not willing to give up this opportunity either, of trolling a woman because nature and signature never change. To remind the readers, Shilpi Tewari is the same woman who was in news last month after Prime Minister Modi delivered her a package of stole she requested for on Twitter, which Mr. Modi had draped in the inaugural ceremony of unveiling the 112ft. tall statute of Lord Shiva, in Coimbatore, organized by Isha foundation.

In this tweet, Mr. Vishvas mockingly addressed Shilpi as ‘Devi’ and termed Modi fans as illiterates. He even tried to drag Smirti Irani by inventing a term “Yale-buddhi” that hints at her degree controversy. However, he immediately got the taste of his own medicine when some of the netizens were quick to remind him of his own mistake in properly writing the Hindi word ‘Devi’ on Twitter.

Apart from Mr. Vishvas being a troll, the context and the manner in which he used the word ‘Devi’ in a ridiculing tone, is itself highly deplorable and sacrilegious. He claims himself to be an ardent follower of Hinduism philosophy and then uses the word ‘Devi’ to mock a woman, apart from using ‘Bhakts’ – a term that was always proudly used by religious Hindus to describe their relationship with their gods and goddesses – in a derogatory manner. His “respect” for Hindu traditions and beliefs becomes obvious here.

However, let’s go back to his original point. Where he thought Shilpi Tewari was worthy of ridicule because she got a poet’s name wrong. If that makes her illiterate, Vishvas too is illiterate. Let me explain.

This is a story of when I was a staunch AAP supporter. My infatuation for AAP and Arvind Kejriwal’s politics had crossed all limits, so much so, that I had undertaken a resolve that if AAP comes to power in Delhi, I shall visit the sanctum sanctorum of Maan Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu, and I actually did that when it secured 67 out of 70 seats in 2015 Delhi elections.

This was also the time when I fell in love with the oratory of Mr. Kumar Vishvas. I used to keep a separate folder in my laptop containing his speeches and poems after downloading them from YouTube.

Let me frankly admit that I still like some of his poems and more often listen these and still have great respect for his art and poetry, but it is equally true that now I equally hate his style of politics, as he is equally responsible in betraying the nation, similar to that of Arvind Kejriwal.

He used to say that after coming to power if AAP doesn’t pass Janlokpal Bill, he will be the first person to publicly denounce Kejriwal and shall sit on hunger strike against him. But the fact remains that after Kejriwal introduced a diluted Janlokpal Bill, he did nothing. This disappointed me too much.

Also, when Kejriwal’s team and his hired hooligans shamelessly misbehaved with Prashant Bhushan and the other dissenters in the infamous NC meet of AAP on March 28, 2015, Mr. Kumar Vishvas chose the abusers’ side and defended the hooligans. In fact, I was strongly amazed at his conscience allowing him to take the side and defend a person who had literally abused Mr. Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav and other dissenters in such a foul language which can’t be reproduced here, for the sake of decency.

I got excessively hurt over these unexpected blatant betrayals of Mr. Vishvas and I decided to no longer admire him at all in politics.

I am sorry that I diverted from the story I was going to share but this divergence was important as all these pieces of information are essential prologue to the story I am going to narrate. This story belongs to the same phase in my life when I was an ardent admirer of Mr. Vishvas.

One evening, I was sitting with my father and uncle, watching Mr. Vishvas’s interview on ‘India TV Public meeting show’. I must admit here that my entire family members are staunch BJP supporters, more particularly my father who has spent his whole life serving to the ideology of BJP and RSS, but I am not that much of a BJP supporter because for me BJP is more like a compulsion, the least evils among all the evils.

So, during this interview, I got little amazed when a poet of Mr. Vishvas’s stature wrongly quoted a poem of Maithili Sharan Gupta by claiming it to be a poem of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. I thought this kind of mistake happens in public life and ignored it. But after few days I again observed him committing the same mistake in a TV interview with Dipak Chaurasia on ‘India News’.

Truly speaking, I turned little fearful, as I thought that if the mainstream media observes this mistake, they may make a mountain out of this molehill, and the election campaigns of AAP may get affected. Therefore, I decided to send him an email requesting him to correct his mistakes onwards.

Finally, I sent him an email dated, February 1, 2015 at 6:30 PM, titled, “You are repeating the mistake. Please correct it.” Such was my respect for him that time that I started my email to him by writing ‘Most Respected Sir’. To my great surprise, he responded within 4 minutes at 6:34 PM, and his exact response was “thank dear. Will correct. Regards. – Kumar”.

My email to Kumar Vishvas (left) and his reply (right)

I was indeed over the moon the moment as I had received a response from someone I used to admire so much. I was showing off this response to my friends to share my happiness. After some days, Mr. Vishvas was invited to Rajat Sharma’s famous show ‘AAP ki Adalat’ where in response to the very first question asked by Rajat Sharma, he again mentioned that poem to advance his arguments but this time, taking my advice into considerations, he had corrected himself, though he didn’t mention that he had corrected himself after I had corrected him.

I have compiled the relevant shots in all these three interviews of Kumar Vishvas to make it a short video of less than 4 minutes, with the help of my friend, where Mr. Vishvas can be seen making illiterate remarks as per his own logic and language.

Today, when a Modi-fan makes a similar mistake then he calls her an illiterate, not only her, he goes on to call the entire Modi-fans as illiterate. I wish to understand from him if he is an illiterate or not as per his own logic and language?

Not only this, in his same ‘India TV Public Meeting Interview’ he had claimed that, “I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend till death your right to say it” is a quote by the famous French philosopher Voltaire, whereas the fact of the matter is that this quote is not that of Voltaire. It was originally quoted in the book ‘The Friends of Voltaire’ written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall and it is often wrongly attributed to Voltaire’s himself.

This concludes, using his own logic, that Dr. Kumar Vishvas is more illiterate than Shilpi Tewari.

And yes, in the same breath in the same interview, he was miserably whining about how Kiran Bedi had undemocratically blocked him on Twitter, but the fact of the matter that when I had commented on his Facebook questioning his silence over ‘Janlokpal Bill’ he immediately blocked me.

You lost an admirer Mr. Visvas, and you have lost the moral high ground to call anyone illiterate.

(written by Rohit Kumar, School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha)

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