A lesser-known Indian born academic Priyamvada Gopal gained widespread notoriety recently on Twitter after screenshots of her past Hinduphobic tweets started doing the rounds on the internet.
In one of the controversial tweets posted by Priyamvada Gopal, she compared the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial to a ‘whale penis’. She made the comparison after an individual said he did not approve of the aesthetics of the memorial.
In another screenshot of the tweet that had gone viral, the academic had demanded that the USA block the naturalization of Hindus and “snatch their precious little H-1Bs”, referring to the H-1B Visas because they supported the Citizenship Amendment Act.
There were other shocking tweets from Gopal, who also happens to be a Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the University of Cambridge. As her scandalous tweets started being shared and retweeted on Twitter, it attracted condemnation from various quarters. Consequently, many social media users also wondered about her ancestry, in a bid to better understand her pathological hatred towards Hindus.
Soon enough, Twitter was replete with posts that said the Cambridge academic is the granddaughter of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first vice president and the second president of India. 5th September every year is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on this day.
The Wire spreads misinformation about S Radhakrishnan, says he was the grandfather of Hinduphobic academic Priyamvada Gopal
The notion that Priyamvada Gopal was the granddaughter of S Radhakrishnan was fueled by the far-left propaganda portal The Wire. In an article published on September 24, 2020, titled “What was Umar Khalid’s Crime?: Over 200 Thinkers Across the Word Extend Solidarity”, the Wire mentions Priyamvada Gopal as one of the “thinkers” who thought Umar Khalid to be innocent, even though evidence suggests that he could be one of the key conspirators of the anti-Hindu Delhi riots that convulsed the national capital in February 2020.
In its article, The Wire described Priyamvada Gopal as a professor at Cambridge University and granddaughter of S Radhakrishnan. This information was picked up by a large number of Twitter users, who then started linking Gopal with the former President of India.
Many Twitter users who claimed Priyamvada Gopal to be the granddaughter of S Radhakrishnan cited The Wire article as their source of information. Some of them even shared the screenshot of the report published in The Wire to back their claims.
The wire says she is grand daughter of Radhakrishnan but no mention of her father— Girish (Headhunter) (@girishs2) September 3, 2021
But S Gopal died in 2002 …so not clear if he is same gopal pic.twitter.com/kBwkU20VUm
The wire says she is the granddaughter of Radhakrishnan but no mention of her father— Rushabh Shinde 🇮🇳 (@Rushabhshinde_) September 4, 2021
But S Gopal died in 2002 …so not clear if he is the same gopal pic.twitter.com/7aKGmyZq0l
Priyamvada Gopal is not related to S Radhakrishnan, the former president’s family member reveals
However, Priyamvada is not the granddaughter of S Radhakrishnan as being bandied about on Twitter. Gautam Desiraju, a close relative of S Radhakrishnan, took to Twitter to inform people that Gopal is not related to the former President of India.
“Sorry to have to disappoint all you guys, but she is no relation, repeat no relation to Prof. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. This is being tweeted by someone who ought to know,” Desiraju tweeted.
Sorry to have to disappoint all you guys, but she is no relation, repeat no relation to Prof. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.— Gautam R. Desiraju🇮🇳 (@GautamDesiraju) September 3, 2021
This is being tweeted by someone who ought to know. https://t.co/DMyE6MS8Vy
When one of the Twitter users responded that it does not change the fact that Gopal is Hinduphobic, Desiraju concurred with him and replied that as a close member of S Radhakrishnan’s family, he was deeply upset to see the first vice president’s name being maligned for tweets posted by someone who was not linked to him in any way.
The same was confirmed by author Hindol Sengupta, who asserted that noted scientist Gautam Desiraju personally clarified to him that Priyamvada has no connection with Dr S Radhakrishnan.
No, the noted scientist @GautamDesiraju – from the same family – personally clarified to me (and others) that she is no connection with Dr. Radhakrishnan. But *wink* the belief persists among many.— HindolSengupta (@HindolSengupta) September 4, 2021
After a family member of Dr S Radhakrishnan debunked the falsehoods peddled in the name of the former president, the Wire quietly edited out the references that said Priyamvada Gopal was related to S Radhakrishnan, perhaps in an attempt to avoid the embarrassment of being caught for purveying fake news. However, the archived version of The Wire article could be read here, where Priyamvada Gopal is referred to as the granddaughter of S Radhakrishnan.