Here are some of the initial reactions from the so called liberals, minutes after the news of Gauri Lankesh’s murder began to spread:
Does anybody see anything at all about trolls and social media? I only see what appear to be a fairly direct accusations of murder. One of them even says “The right wing strikes“. Not mincing any words.
Neither do I see anything about Right Wing trolls in this comment from Rahul Gandhi himself.
Then, a day passed and people started to notice that the ‘secular’ ecosystem was making direct accusations of murder in a complete vacuum of evidence.
That is when the left realised its mistake and quickly decided to change the narrative. In an Orwellian sleight of hand, the left declared that their outrage had only been about right wing trolls who supposedly were saying mean things about Gauri Lankesh.
From accusing the right wing of murder to accusing the right wing of trolling! What a spectacular climbdown!
It was as if a memo had gone out and the entire left fell in line instantly. You can see “senior journalist” Ravish Kumar explain their new point of agenda at the Press Club protest meeting (from 1:15 here) :
Ravish says that:
Zyada reaction is baat se tha ki jaanch to hui nahin hai, hum nahin jaante ki hatya kisne ki hai, zyada reaction is baat se tha ki social media pe kis tarah ki bhasha ka istemaal hua hai”
(The investigation hasn’t happened so we don’t know who killed her, the bigger reaction was about the kind of language that has been used on social media)
Now take another look at the screenshot of early tweets from liberals on the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Read the words of Rahul Gandhi ji. And now keep repeating in your head the words of Ravish Kumar till you can force yourself to believe them:
We don’t know who killed Gauri Lankesh, the reaction was all about the kind of language used on social media
The Orwellian term for this is “reality control”. We are now supposed to believe that no accusations of murder were thrown at the right wing.
This Orwellian circus of lies needs to be called out. The fact of the matter is that the Left wing has accused right wingers of murder and they have to give evidence in support of their claim. The burden of proof is on them.
Almost a week has passed and the Karnataka government has not been able to produce a shred of evidence that right wingers killed Gauri Lankesh. The police appears fairly silent. Could this silence be interpreted to mean that the available leads are pointing away from the conclusion that the the ecosystem wanted to see?
I’m speculating there, but if the left is entitled to speculate without any form of accountability then so should I.
What we are seeing right now is a panicked attempt by the embarrassed left to change the thrust of the story from the initial accusation of murder to studying the use of language by the 1800 odd people that the Prime Minister follows on Twitter.
Already The Wire has decided to cast an even wider net and is now checking out tweets of people followed by all Cabinet Ministers, not just Modi. One can expect that in the coming days this will be further expanded to include any person followed by BJP Chief Ministers, then BJP Ministers in the states, then BJP MPs, then BJP MLAs, mayors, corporators, heads of various morchas, cells and the list goes on…
The left wants to send us on a wild goose chase on social media because it is unable to sustain with evidence its initial accusation of murder against the Hindu right. It is up to the people to hold them accountable. An accusation of murder has been made. The Left needs to come up with the evidence or tender a grovelling apology.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.