On June 3, 2020, the official Twitter account of the Dairy behemoth Amul Industries had uploaded a poster on the topic of the ongoing campaign to boycott of Chinese products in the wake of expansionist manoeuvres by China along the Ladakh border.
The topical featured the iconic Amul girl asking for boycotting of Chinese product with the message: “Exit the Dragon”.
However, a day after Amul uploaded the aforesaid topical, Twitter abruptly deactivated their official account without any prior intimation.
Soon after Twitter pulled down Amul’s account, scores of Amul followers discovered that the account had been deactivated and lodged their protest against Twitter’s whimsical decision of removing the account.
It may be noted that Twitter is banned in China, along with several other social media platforms, search engines and other major websites. But still the account of Amul was banned for a tweet critical of China.
A statement was released by Amul Management wherein they said that they have sought reasons for their account deactivation from the company. “Our followers were not able to see the above mentioned topical on due to deactivation and they came out in support of Amul and were upset with this behaviour of Twitter. We have taken up with Twitter to know the reasons for their action. Amul Butter girl spare none, favour none & fears none. She tells the mood of the nation,” the statement read.
Amul Topicals are a chronicler of events/moments world wide from the elections of PMs and Presidents, Brexit, lockdown due to COVID-19, sports events, movies to 1st time airing of Ramayana and Mahabharat in 1987 and 1989 to even events like Emergency in India in 1976: Amul— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) June 6, 2020
Furthermore, the organisation said that Amul Topicals chronicles events from across the world such as elections of PMs and Presidents, Brexit, lockdown due to COVID-19, sports events, movies to first time airing of Ramayana and Mahabharata in 1987 and 1989 and also events like the imposition of Emergency in India in 1976.
India-China standoff at the border along Ladakh
Besides, being the country’s biggest packaged milk supplier, Amul is also known for coming up with mordant topicals that reflects the mood of the nation regarding contemporary events. The deactivation of Amul’s Twitter account holds special significance as it comes amidst the escalating tensions between the two South-East Asian neighbours following a standoff at LAC along the border in Ladakh between the Chinese troops and the Indian forces.
With anti-China sentiments among Indians at an all-time high, partly because of the coronavirus crisis that has ravaged economy and immobilised people and largely on account of Chinese incursions in India’s Ladakh region, is Twitter trying to tamp down the raging sentiments by suspending accounts opposing China? Twitter India should come out clean and reassure Indians that it is not an organisation whose strings can be pulled by the Chinese.
Twitter issues clarification on the temporary suspension of Amul account
Twitter has issued a clarification with regards to the temporary deactivation of the official account of Amul.
Had a call from Shari Manish Maheshwari MD Twitter India ,clarifying the issue that the account was blocked due to technical reasons and not in relation to the content published. @Amul_Coop @TwitterIndia— R S Sodhi (@Rssamul) June 6, 2020
The Managing Director of Amul, R S Sodhi took to Twitter to inform that he had a conversation with Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari who issued a clarification claiming that the Amul account was blocked due to technical reasons and not in connection with the content published.