Tejashwi Yadav slams the journalist
A senior journalist associated with a national Hindi news channel was heavily trolled, after a snide remark on a tweet by former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi in which she had taken a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent interview to Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
"Modi was in Muzaffarpur yesterday where people expressed curiosity about the way he ate litchis the fruit the town is famous for. They had already known how he savoured mangoes and wondered whether he enjoyed litchis by biting the fruit or sucking on it or while standing near a wash basin," Rabri Devi had tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday.
The RJD national vice-president's comment came a day after Modi's rally in the north Bihar town.
"The PM did not reply since the question had not been posed by a hero or a heroine. Moreover, since the question was not pre-planned and choreographed, he could not come with a reply," she added, in an obvious dig at the nearly hour-long "non-political" interview of Modi by Kumar.
The journalist in question quickly came out with a riposte on the micro-blogging site, saying, "So, Rabri Devi, too, tweets. Somebody should challenge her to just pronounce the word twitter thrice non-stop."
The remark, which sought to underscore the former CM's lack of formal education, however, drew a barrage of criticism from political leaders, besides those in the media.
Rabri Devi's younger son Tejashwi Yadav otherwise known for his composure flew into a rage and came out with a flurry of tweets about the journalist's "casteist, racist and classist mindset".
He also tagged the chairman of the group that owns the channel which the journalist works for, prompting the scribe to come up with the reply, "I had no intent to disrespect your or anyone's mother. I am rather surprised people are spending so much time on misinterpreting a tweet... even finding a caste angle in it. Sincerely apologise, but please do not misinterpret.
Tejashwi retorted with a fresh tweet, demanding an apology from the channel's management over the "classist and sexist remark by its editor".
"So, what motivated you (the journalist) to spend your precious time in asking a former CM to pronounce a word," he said.
Veteran CPI(M) leader and West Bengal MP Mohd Salim also slammed the scribe's remark, calling it the epitome of "Manuvadi media".
"It must be shown to everyone who questions the need for caste-based reservations. It is shameful how a journalist is ridiculing a former CM (who belongs to backward caste) due to his upper caste arrogance," Salim wrote on Twitter.
Young Congress spokesperson Pankhuri Pathak, too, tweeted, saying, "Only the one who has the knowledge of Brahma deserves to be called a Brahmin... what can be expected from those who have mortgaged their pen to forces of capitalism. If somebody asks him to use similar words for those in power, his limbs will freeze."
Samajwadi Party MP Tej Bahadur Singh Yadav, who is married to Rabri Devi's youngest daughter Rajlaxmi, said, "Pundit ji, come out of your Manuvadi mindset. Times have changed and you are still after backward and women. She has served as the chief minister of Bihar for many years.
"If you are so fond of tweeting, try doing so about the educational qualification of Smriti (Irani) ji."
CPI(ML) politburo member Kavita Krishnan came out with a tweet equating the journalist's remark with a recent comment by Union minister and senior BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who had advised Rabri Devi to "stay in ghoonghat".
"This shows that these people take democratic politics to be the Varna system wherein entry shall be closed for all except males belonging to their Varna. The times have changed," she wrote in Hindi.