Bengaluru: Senior Karnataka IPS officer D. Roopa Moudgil got embroiled in an escalating online controversy late Wednesday as multiple hashtags trended on microblogging site Twitter over the suspension of an account she had a heated exchange with on the issue of Diwali cracker ban.
Social media users criticised the IPS officer for “suspending” the account. Many including actor Kangana Ranaut even called for action against the officer.
— Chiru Bhat | ಚಿರು ಭಟ್ (@mechirubhat) November 18, 2020
It's simply abuse of power. IPS officers are appointed as public servant but they seem to be more busy settling personal ego issues. This shows intellect and wisdom don't go hand in hand.#TrueIndology fought with facts. @TwitterIndia #BringBackTrueIndology . #ShameOnIPSRoopa pic.twitter.com/WkWx5tdIwW
— Ad.Amardeep (@AdAmardeep2) November 19, 2020
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) November 18, 2020
The row started 14 November when Roopa shared her thoughts on the ban in a Facebook post. In her post explaining why the ban is justified, she said, “… there’s nothing Hindu about crackers”.
When she shared this post on Twitter, it caused a stir over the significance of crackers to Hindu religion. She repeatedly explained her stand even as several Right-wing users questioned whether the government will ban loudspeakers in mosques or chopping of trees for Christmas celebrations.
True Indology was among the Twitter users who questioned her. The account with nearly 2 lakh followers claimed that the use of crackers was a Hindu tradition and is mentioned in ancient scriptures.
Roopa strongly contested the view and began a debate with the user to post details from the scriptures that would support his claim that it was an ancient practice. The argument led to several users trolling her and some even threatening her.
After a long war of words between the two, Twitter suspended True Indology’s handle. In an Instagram post, the user claimed that in one of her tweets she told True Indology that “ur time’s up”.
ThePrint reached Roopa for a comment but she declined.
What Roopa said
D. Roopa Moudgil is currently serving as Karnataka’s Home Secretary. The IPS officer first shot into the limelight in 2017 after she exposed special treatment being provided to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) leader V.K. Sasikala in jail.
In her latest post that caused online flutter, Roopa said, “Ban on crackers in Bengaluru is for this year alone, given COVID situation. Why can’t for one year we abstain ourselves from the use of crackers? Are we so hollow that our joy is dependent solely on crackers?
“There are many ways to celebrate Deepawali. Light diyas, meet people, exchange mithai…but no, adamant people only want crackers. How unreasonable!”
This led to Right-wing users seeking an explanation over speaking against “Hindu traditions”, and also questioned whether she would raise her voice against the customs of other religions.
According to a source close to the IPS officer, “Such pseudo-intellectuals who spread lies and hate in the name of knowledge and create communal tensions should be banned.”
The source said Roopa’s whole idea was to only “engage in discussions in a democratic manner with the good intention to understand what stops them from following government orders”.
“Many of the handles who trolled did not have enough evidence to support their claims that bursting of crackers was mentioned in the scriptures and part of the system since ancient times,” the source added.
Senior Congressman Abhishek Manu Singhvi weighed in on the social media spat too, saying it did not “befit” IPS officers to argue with anonymous Twitter handles during “working hours”.
Doesn't befit IPS officers of the country to be arguing with anonymous Twitter Handles that too during working hours. Make a point, let it go, you aren't winning anything by arguing on SM!
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 18, 2020