Hate Watch: Bengal in turmoil as Instigators like Deepak Sharma wave their Social Media driven wand, again

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: June 12, 2019
After an unprecedented performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal in the 2019 general elections, the state is witnessing immense unrest, with the BJP and TMC workers at loggerheads with each other. It is pertinent to note that this violence is being triggered by a group of hooligans, who are using social media to mobilize the public and create social unrest, by portraying themselves as the saviour of ‘Hindu Rashtra’.


 
One such Hindutva activist, who better calls himself as a “motivational speaker”, is Deepak Sharma, who has been banned several times on Facebook for hate content. He speaks a communally charged language and is the founder of Rashtriya Swabhiman Dal (RSD), an organisation that works to protect the interests of Hindu dharma as well as the nation. Notably, during the election, he was seen campaigning in West Bengal and mobilizing the public through his hate speeches.

CJP, in January 2019, had written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), complaining about the hate spread by Deepak Sharma. A complaint was sent to Facebook as well, that got Deepak Sharma banned by the social media giant. However, he keeps on making multiple pages with different names and continues to mobilize the masses in similar numbers. He also joins live videos of other such mobilizers like him.

TMC-BJP clash in West Bengal
Reportedly, the violence erupted after West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo, Mamata Banerjee, lashed out at people chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ near her convoy on May 30 and called them outsiders. "They are criminals and were abusing me. They are not from Bengal," Mamata Banerjee had said. This prompted the BJP to announce that it will send 10 lakh postcards with "Jai Shri Ram" written on them to her.

On June 2, Mamata Banerjee in a blog post attacked the BJP stating that some of its workers and supporters were using a section of the media to spread the ideology of hate.

As per the latest reports, over the last week, at least three clashes were reported from the state, in which three men were allegedly killed -- two from the TMC and one from the BJP. The clashes have become so severe that there are reports of soon President’s rule being imposed in West Bengal. The BJP-TMC face off further intensified, with the police using water cannons and tear gas to disperse BJP workers who were marching towards Lal Bazar to protest against the TMC government this morning.

Hate Watch Alert
Though the “outsider” statement by Mamata Banerjee might have triggered the entire turbulence, the Hindutva activists have taken this as an opportunity to communally divide the state and the nation. Hundreds of BJP workers marching on the streets against the TMC is not merely a reaction to Mamata’s comments. It appears to be a well-thought out move by people like Deepak Sharma who are publishing communal content on social media to garner support and instigate the masses. A quick look at the multiple Facebook pages handled by Sharma will reveal the kind of venom he is spewing by posting hateful images and videos.

Three main pages run by Deepak Sharma are: ‘Bhagva Hind’, Deepak Sharma and ‘Deepak Sharma- Ek Vichardhara.’ Notably, each of these pages are followed by more than 10,000 people.

Just two days before the last phase of elections, Deepak Sharma went live on Facebook from West Bengal where he is seen sitting in a hotel room and spreading hatred and disinformation. He says, “40 saal ke CPM communist ke shaashan ne aur pichle 15 saal ke mamta ke shashan ne, Baghdidi ke shashan ne iss bangal ko Syria banane ki puri koshish ki h” (In the 40 years of CPM and 10 years of TMC, the government has tried their level best to convert Bengal into Syria). He even accuses Mamata Banerjee of giving shelter to Bangladeshi terrorists. He then says, “Aisa kya hai Bangal mein jo Jai Shri Ram bolne par aapatti hai.” (What is so unique in Bengal that we cannot chant Jai Shri Ram). The video had received 258 likes, 1.1k views and 26 shares.



On May 8, he had posted another message, where he urged the public to vote wisely so as to get back the rule of Ram (Hindu god). Strikingly, he posted this message with a photo of Narendra Modi and 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. Below are the images:


 


Apart from these, Sharma has even posted images with various BJP politicians, who are infamous for their communal remarks such as Giriraj Singh, Debajit Sarkar, Ram Madhav, Raja Singh, among others.

Earlier, he had posted a video asking to behead non-believers and wishing for more Godhra like incidents. He even explicitly talks about his hatred for Muslims and the urgent need to persecute them. One such example is of Sharma’s message on Dhruv Tyagi’s murder, after he confronted his daughter’s abusers, which stated that a girl was molested and her father murdered during Ramzan and such ‘Jihadis’ should be hanged to death. He even highlighted the names of the (Muslim) accused.

All in all, Deepak Sharma’s facebook profile is a landmine of abusive and hateful posts and is constantly seen supporting and being supported by BJP politicians.

Another BJP supporter, Chowkidar Awadhesh Shaw, had on May 18 appealed to the voters of West Bengal to vote keeping in mind that chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Mamata’s regime is a sin. Below is the post:



It is then pertinent to note that, Preety Sethia, Secretary, Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, West Division had commented on the above post with another communal post where Mamata can be seen wearing a veil (thereby portraying her as a Muslim.) Below is the post:



Just this morning, Vinod Sharma, National President of Sudarshan Vahini, posted a video, in which a group of protestors, with saffron scarves, can be seen marching towards Banga Bhawan, Delhi with placards of ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ On June 2, Vinod Sharma had posted a tweet where he is seen loudly chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ with Suresh Chavhanke, the chairman of Sudarshan news, a contentious channel and many other people, mostly with criminal background.
There are multiple such pages and such people who have become “public figures” and are mobilizing the masses and calling for violence and anti-Muslim behaviour. They are not only having a huge online presence but are there on the ground as well. People like Deepak Sharma have even travelled to Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and many other places during and post the elections. The main question then arises- Who is sponsoring all these trips? Who is backing these communal figures? How are they able to constantly and blatantly break the law without the fear of being prosecuted? Predictably, they have denied any association with political parties, specifically, the BJP but one cannot not draw parallels between the messages spread by such people and the ideology of the RSS-BJP combined.

It is not surprising then that no FIR has been lodged against them despite them flouting IPC sections 153A and 295A which apply to them for promoting enmity and defaming religious minorities.

More about hate activist, Deepak Sharma can be read here.