As his body was being cremated, condolence messages were being shared all around. But, there were another, more visceral form of messages that were rapidly increasing. Hatred for Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
While some were toned down in their criticism of the former Prime Minister, such as this person. Others were quite unabashed in their criticism and hate.
Wow! I'm being trolled for my opinion on #AtalBihariVajpayee. Look, I condole his death but this doesn't mean history mustn't look at him critically. As PM he was capable of doing more than a slap on Modi's wrist. He didn't. Thousands of Muslims were killed.
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) August 16, 2018
Some people threatened to unfriend people who shared condolence messages for him.
He was called a Bramhin oppressor and a mass-murderer and even the founder of a terrorist organization.
Some went as far as saying that Allah ‘delivered’ their wish of Vajpayee being killed.
These kind of tweets and posts were everywhere on social media and caused the formation of a counter-movement with the hashtag #NoMoreDisrespectForLegends. This was trending on India’s Twitter for quite a while.
While there was a lack of nuanced explanation for this behavior online, this thread did offer some insight into the possible reasons for the pouring of hatred.
Which statesman was that? This one, on 5 Dec 1992 at Ayodhya? Who said kar sevaks need demolition equipment because zameen ko samtal karna hai? https://t.co/Uu6IGE4Ygc
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 16, 2018
According to the conversation on this thread, the anger that people had over Vajpayee’s alleged inaction in both the Babri Masjid demolition case and the 2002 Godhra riots still remains and they feel quite strongly about it.
It also appears that they feel his image is being whitewashed and his death should not be used as an opportunity to forget his shortcomings.
On a personal note, there is a difference between disagreeing or criticising someone and wishing someone dead. Even if there exists visceral hatred on one’s part, the other’s death should not be the opportunity to voice it.
A person’s death is used as a time to reflect on one’s own mortality and to learn lessons from the departed, not try to mar the image of a person who cannot defend it anymore.
This kind of behavior has not been seen before, where people line up to abuse a person who has just died, that too on the eve of his death. And until more digging is done, we won’t know the reason behind this outpouring.
Image Credits: Google Images
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