Alleged ‘blasphemy’ of Islam and its Prophet Muhammad is frequently attracting death threats in India in the last few years. Calling out people for the alleged ‘blasphemy‘ over any remark about the religion and its messenger and dog-whistling fanatic Islamists to attack the critics of Islam and providing an intellectual shield to the threats under the garb of hurt sentiments and freedom of expression is being normalized in a way like never before.
Recently, BJP leader Nupur Sharma was targeted and given death threats in a similar manner for responding to Islamists insulting Hindu gods and symbols like the Shivling, in a way they would better understand – that is, by mentioning uncomfortable facts about Prophet. People on social media stood up in her support but the way in which the BJP has suspended her is a reason to remember the last Facebook post of Hindu activist Kamlesh Tiwari who was assassinated by Islamists on 18th October 2019 over a similar alleged ‘blasphemy‘.
Kamlesh Tiwari was a Hindu activist who fought for Hindu causes and raised his voice against Hinduphobia and the religious violence faced by Hindus. In his last Facebook post that he shared on 15th October 2019, he wrote, “Many Hindus ask me for help over a phone call. I help them as much as I can and I will continue to do so. But, in the Hindu society for which I fight, the people of the organization work hard and at times take enmity of others, how many have voluntarily come and said ‘hey brother, take these one hundred rupees as our contribution for the cause of Hindu community?’ There is none. I am grateful to our activists and extend my thanks to them. They are poor. They don’t have any jobs. Still, they charge us with the energy to keep the fight for Hindutva alive. Otherwise, the community for which we are fighting is either alive or dead.”
Kamlesh Tiwari further wrote in this post, “We and our other saffron comrades are alive and we are helpless. How will you be able to protect such an ungrateful and selfish society? This is really a matter of concern that, forget 10%, Hindu community is not willing to spend even 1% of their earnings on the cause of protecting its family, property, culture, and Dharma. Don’t blame Hindu organizations if, in the future, this community is finished off spending its money on expensive wedding celebrations and maintaining fake social status. Because on one side you have a bumper funding of Zakat and Islamists and Missionaries and Christianity; while on the other side there are fighters who are fighting this battle spending their own money. Give it a thought. Jai Shri Ram.”
The Facebook post is still there on Kamlesh Tiwari’s Facebook profile. While readers may have a question, how can one’s Facebook account be active even after his death, there are measures to continue the account and different options are provided by various platforms to keep the account active even after the death of the user.
As far as a Facebook account is concerned, Facebook provides users with two options. Users can either request Facebook to delete their account when they die or they can give information to someone who can have limited access to their account when they die. This is shown in the Memorialization Settings of one’s Facebook account and the user can specify the details of the person whom he wishes to keep as his legacy contact. Please note that the person has to be on your friend list on Facebook to become your Legacy Contact.
Please note that the Legacy Account will gain access only after submitting the required information about your death. The access will be limited. Here are a few things that the Legacy Account will be able to do:
- Manage tribute posts on your profile, which includes deciding who can post and who can see posts, deleting posts, and removing tags
- Request the removal of your account
- Respond to new friend requests
- Update your profile picture and cover photo
In the Memorialization Settings, you will see an option that reads, “Request that your account be deleted after you pass away.” When you click on this option, a message will appear that ask you to confirm your request. Once Facebook has enough information and proof that you have died, the account will be removed forever.
Kamlesh Tiwari’s Facebook account is currently run by a group of his supporters.
Kamlesh Tiwari was stabbed 15 times, and then was shot using a pistol by Islamists on 18 October 2019 at his house in Lucknow. His life was in danger from the radical Islamists since 2015, when he had made allegedly blasphemous comments while responding to derogatory comments on RSS by SP leader Azam Khan. Azam Khan had said that RSS is the organisation of homosexuals, because its leaders don’t marry. Responding to this, Kamlesh Tiwari had said that Prophet Muhammad was the first homosexual in the world.
This had triggered massive protests by Muslims in various parts of the country, demanding death penalty for Tiwari. Such a protest in Malda in West Bengal had turned violent in 2016, when the Islamists had burnt down a police station, several vehicles, and assaulted people. Kamlesh Tiwari was arrested by SP led UP govt, and was charged under National Security Act and other sections of the IPC. He had spent several months in the jail. While later he was out the jail, he was killed in 2019.