Days after Twitter India locked the official handle of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi for revealing the identity of an alleged rape victim, Congress party workers in Andhra Pradesh fried a ‘bird’ and couriered it to Twitter’s headquarters in Gurgaon and Delhi.
A video of Congress workers frying birds was shared The Print correspondent Rishika Sadam. In a tweet, she informed that the action was a form of ‘protest’ against Twitter’s decision to block the account of Rahul Gandhi. “They not only fried it but also couriered it to #Twitter headquarters. The man in the video is former MP Harsha Kumar’s son,” she added.
Absurd. In a parallel universe, #AndhraPradesh #Congress workers fry what they call a ‘Twitter bird’ as a protest against #RahulGandhi ‘s account being blocked.They not only fried it but also couriered it to #Twitter headquarters.The man in video is former MP Harsha Kumar’s son. pic.twitter.com/LtC4e268pN— Rishika Sadam (@RishikaSadam) August 17, 2021
The son of ex-Congress MP Harsha Kumar remarked, “I hope everyone should see this. This is a Twitter bird.” He then looks at the bird being friend and tells it, “You, Twitter, have done a mistake by blocking Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account and not promoting our tweets. So, we are frying these and sending these to the headquarters in Gurgaon and Delhi.” He was seen cooking over a small stove in the open, during which he carefully placed the marinated birds and fried it.
The Congress workers, standing behind him, were heard yelling slogans of ‘Down Down BJP.’ After the dish was cooked, he then put it in a tightly packed box to be sent via courier to Twitter’s headquarters. This is not the first time when the Congress party workers had resorted to such bizarre acts. In 2015, they welcomed the then State Congress Chief N Raghuveera Reddy for a party function by stuffing Diwali rockets inside pigeons and setting them on fire. The incident had taken place in the Kovvuru town in West Godavari district.
Rahul Gandhi and the Twitter saga
After Rahul Gandhi violated the law of the land by revealing identity of the minor rape victim, the NCPCR wrote to Twitter to take down the tweet within 24 hours in case Rahul Gandhi himself does not delete it. Subsequently, Twitter deleted the tweet and Rahul Gandhi’s account was locked out, likely for 12 hours on first offence, over policy violation. However, later after the reports came in that they had ‘permission’ from the victim’s parents to use the picture, Twitter winked and reinstated the tweet but flagged it as ‘unavailable’ in response to legal demand. Those who access Rahul Gandhi’s account from outside of India can see the contentious tweet revealing rape victim’s identity.
Subsequently, various Congress leaders, too, tweeted the image of rape victim’s parents in ‘solidarity’ with Rahul Gandhi who violated the POCSO Act. Those tweets were also eventually flagged and some accounts were locked out. Then, many Congress leaders changed their profile picture and name to that of Rahul Gandhi to again show solidarity. However, this was also in violation of Twitter policy and again many Congress leaders’ social media accounts were locked out.
The Congress leaders then cried foul that Twitter was acting on behest of Indian government despite having violated the law of the land. Many netizens speculated that this could be shadowboxing between Twitter and Congress so that Twitter appears neutral and can have a freehand for suspending/restricting Twitter accounts of BJP leaders ahead of high stakes elections in coming months. Now, while Twitter has unlocked Rahul Gandhi’s account, he has still not tweeted.