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Twitter censors OpIndia cartoon: How big tech allows defamation of saffron, but goes red when it sees green

Big Tech takes the knee in solidarity with the ummah, because no one really wants to be Charlie Hebdo'ed.

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Twitter removed an editorial cartoon published by OpIndia on the recent Elle controversy. This is the cartoon that apparently violated Twitter policy.

OpIndia is being forced to delete the cartoon even though Twitter had hidden it already citing ‘policy violation’. Out account has also been locked out. Which is why there have been no tweets from official handle since over 14 hours now. We’ve disputed it with Twitter and escalated the issue, but our guess on what Twitter will do with it is as good as yours.

You see, on October 25, 2021, a woman who opened first ever non-halal restaurant in Kerala was reportedly assaulted by Islamists. She was also threatened against opening a second branch. The Kerala Police, however, has now allegedly arrested the couple on allegations of ‘levelling fake allegations’.

In Islam, non-halal food is ‘haram’ (not allowed) and in the entire process of slaughtering the animal, only Muslims can participate and must chant Bismillah.

This, in a way, is economic boycott of people who do not practice Islam as they cannot be employed in halal food industry by default.

The above cartoon was in reaction to a cartoon shared by a fashion magazine Elle on its Instagram page after several netizens took to social media to express their disapproval for the advertisements and creatives shared for the upcoming Diwali festivities.

Many of these brands had morose looking models staring into the abyss, looking as if they have eating disorder and are questioning their life choices. Netizens were upset because Hindu festivals are all about lights, happiness, laughter and joy. People wear new clothes, buy jewellery, gifts, sweets, light up diyas, draw rangoli welcoming the Lakshmi and Lord Ram back home. It is a time for celebration. The sad looking models just killed the vibe, especially at a time when the world is slowly recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic which is believed to have originated in China.

Here was the cartoon shared by Elle on its Instagram page to portray Hindus, who do not want their festivals to look depressing, ‘violent’ just because a bunch of netizens said no to sad Diwali.

Elle Instagram post

First of all, the whole romanticisation of Mughals and Diwali is a truckload of bullsh*t to put it mildly. There are enough historical accounts of Hindu temples being destroyed and looted by Mughals and the forced religious conversion by the barbarians from our history to safely say that our festivals survived not because of ‘Mughals who made them grander’ but despite Mughals who wanted to destroy every bit of Hinduness in India.

But then, portraying the ‘saffron terror’ gets a free pass but if you show the true colours of Islamists, you are an Islamophobe. That a woman alleges assault by radicals for opening a non-halal restaurant is labelled as ‘fake news’ and reporting on it is ‘hate speech’ but vilification of Hindus is not only normalised but even encouraged to appear ‘secular’.

But when it comes to the Big Tech, Hindumisia gets a platform served on a platter while calling out radical behaviour of Islamists gets you flagged as ‘hate speech’. Some snowflakes are more equal because, really, who wants to mess with the ‘sar tan se juda’ enthusiasts!

And hence, OpIndia’s editorial cartoon gets flagged for ‘policy violation’ on Twitter and our account gets locked out because the toilet tissue rolls of ISIS took it upon themselves to call a woman who said she was assaulted by Islamists a liar, because, ummah.

This is not the first time the Big Tech has taken the knee in solidarity with the ummah. Remember NYTimes and its generally racist attitude towards India?

In 2014 when India was the first nation to reach Mars in the first attempt under the Mangalyaan mission. September 2014 was historic for India’s space research under Prime Minister Modi. India’s ISRO was the fourth space agency to reach Mars with Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter) after Roscosmos (Russia), NASA (USA) and the European Space Agency (22 European member states).

The most interesting part of this mission was that it was the most cost-efficient Mars-craft. It was made possible at the cost of approximately Rs 450 crore. India had even left China behind in this feat because China and Japan were unsuccessful in their Mars mission.

Know what NYTimes did? Surprise, surprise, it published a racist editorial cartoon.

Racist cartoon by The New York Times

In the cartoon, a bare-footed man wearing dhoti, turban and holding a buffalo next to him is seen knocking on the doors of ‘Elite Space Club’. So, well, yea, F*ck you, NYTimes and your elite club of entitled people, even if you did apologise after the uproar.

But no one really censored it. It was not called out for racism. NYTimes also apologised to those who might be offended. In July this year, it went a step ahead and went looking specifically for anti-Hindu, anti-Modi candidates to employ and spread propaganda. In their ad, the specific purpose of the New York Times seems to be to appeal to candidates who can write against the democratically elected government in India and contribute to a tirade that can only be called a “regime change” operation.

This racism against Indians, especially Hindus, gets legitimacy and acceptance. But if one says slightly uncomfortable truth about the so-called peaceful community, one gets labelled ‘hatemonger’.

Sadly, this is not something unique to racist, elitist international publication houses. So-called liberals in India, too, conjure up imaginary scenarios to spew hate on Hindus because it is ‘safe’ as all the Hindu netizens would do is outrage online (and not really behead anyone or blow themselves up for jannah) and then it gives fodder to international media to paint entire Hindu community as intolerant.

Dictionary meaning of secularism is: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations. Here is a quick example of ‘secularism’ in India.

There is one ‘satirist cartoonist’ Satish Acharya. He likes to say he speaks truth to power, but he can hardly take criticism himself. Anyway, in July this year, when India was scaling up its vaccination for coronavirus, Acharya tried to insinuate that the vaccine hesitancy in India was mostly amongst the Hindus.

Acharya showed a man asking the nurse what the ‘Gothra’ of the vaccine is since he would want to match it with his horoscope. Which is amusing because no one has ever heard of such a request from any Hindu while getting vaccinated.

However, there is a section of one community which has been showing vaccine hesitancy because of its formulation.

Halal vaccines

But Acharya didn’t mock the ones who wanted halal status for the vaccines. No one wants to be Charlie Hebdo’ed.

There is tremendous pressure to create a narrative of ‘Hindu Taliban’ and ‘Hindu terror’ to combat the very real Islamic terror guised as Islamophobia. Terrorism has no religion is a valid statement only if terrorists are Islamists. For crimes committed by people of other religion, make sure to demonise the entire community to keep your secular credentials going.

And that is where the Big Tech steps in to help further the narrative that a bunch of Hindus online who have expressed their disappointment and displeasure over appropriation of their festivals, making them feel guilty about being happy for the festivities are intolerant rioters even if not a single stone was pelted, not a single ‘kafir’ was beheaded.

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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