Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday ordered a probe into the tweets of Sachin Tendulkar, Akshay Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and other celebrities, which had followed the interference of global personalities like Greta Thunberg, Rihanna, Mia Khalifa and others in India’s domestic affairs. Mangeshkar, Tendulkar, Kumar and many others had urged the people of the country to stay united and slammed the foreigners for their “propaganda”.
Deshmukh ordered the probe after the Indian National Congress (INC) complained to him. The INC contended that the Indian celebrities had coordinated as the tweets were similar and posted around the same time.
Sachin Sawant of the INC justified the state government’s decision to order a probe into the tweets of the celebrities. He told news agency ANI: “The government sprung into action after Rihanna tweeted on the farmers’ issue. This was followed by a series of tweets from celebrities. If a person, be it a celebrity, opines on their own, it’s fine. But there is scope for suspicion that the BJP is behind this. Similar words like ‘amicable’ have been used in these tweets.”
Sawant confirmed that the Maharashtra intelligence unit would probe the case.
“National heroes should be provided security if BJP is intimidating them. I spoke to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and he said it is a serious matter. He has given orders to the Intelligence department to probe into this,” the INC politicians said.
Interestingly, no government orders a probe when Bollywood wantonly dabbles in politics with similar and even identical tweets or placards, social media users are pointing out.
Meanwhile, Swabhimani Paksha led by Raju Shetti protested outside Tendulkar’s residence in Mumbai.
“India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” Sachin Tendulkar had tweeted.
Indian cricket captain Virat Kolhi said, “Let us all stay united in this hour of disagreements. Farmers are an integral part of our country and I’m sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together. #IndiaTogether.”
From Hindi film industry, Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar had urged people not to fall for false propaganda against India.
“Farmers constitute an extremely important part of our country. And the efforts being undertaken to resolve their issues are evident. Let’s support an amicable resolution, rather than paying attention to anyone creating differences.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” read the tweet posted by Akshay.
Suresh Raina, Anil Kumble, RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha too had challenged Rihanna, Thunberg and others indirectly.
The Indian government had also strongly responded to comments of foreign individuals, entities, saying that Parliament passed the three farm bills after a comprehensive debate.
Issuing a statement on recent comments by foreign individuals and entities on the farmers’ protests, the Ministry of External Affairs had said, “Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible.”
Earlier, giving the social media giant a taste of its own medicine of censorship due to “community standards”, the Narendra Modi government had directed microblogging site Twitter to remove 1,178 “Pakistani-Khalistani accounts spreading misinformation and provocative content on farmers agitation,” sources said. They said the government cited Indian laws that did not permit making such posts in the public space — in order to maintain law and order and preserve communal harmony in society.