Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said the state intelligence department will conduct a probe into the tweets put out by celebrities such as Sachin Tendulkar Lata Mangeshkar Saina Nehwal and Akshay Kumar last week in response to pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg’s comments on the farmers’ agitation.
Deshmukh’s announcement, which came after Congress alleged BJP had “pressured” the celebrities to tweet in support of the Modi government drew sharp reactions on social media, with BJP leaders asking if Bharat Ratnas like Tendulkar and Mangeshkar would now be investigated for expressing their views.
The union government had gone overboard following the tweets of Rihanna and company. This is another case of overreaction by the political class. Indian celebrities too are free to tweet what they want. Why they tweeted is nobody’s business.
BJP chief J P Nadda tweeted, “MVA in Maharashtra has a unique model of governance —hail noises of anarchy from overseas who show India in poor light but harass patriotic Indians who stand for the nation. It is difficult to decide what is more flawed: their priorities or their mindset?” Former CM Devendra Fadnavis asked if the MVA government had lost its senses. “MVA should feel ashamed while using the word ‘probe’ for Bharat Ratnas. Actually, now it seems necessary to probe the mental state of the ones who made such a demand and of people who ordered the probe against our Bharat Ratnas,” he said.
He tweeted, “Disgusting and highly deplorable! Where is your Marathi pride now? Where is your Maharashtra Dharma? We will never find such ‘ratnas’ in entire nation who order probe against Bharat Ratnas who always stand strong in one voice for our nation.”
Celebrities across fields including Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had tweeted on the ongoing protests. ( TOI )