Vivek Agnihotri | Facebook
Vivek Agnihotri | Facebook
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Agnihotri has lately gained attention for his ‘anti-Maoist’ ideology, and for propagating an idea that there is ‘institutionalised terrorism’ in Indian society.

New Delhi: Who is Vivek Agnihotri, the man giving Twitter calls to compile a list of those defending ‘Urban Naxals’?

Agnihotri’s tweet came hours before activists such as lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, poet P. Varavara Rao and journalist Gautam Navlakha were arrested on the charge of being conspirators in the Bhima-Koregaon violence earlier this year.

Agnihotri is a Bollywood filmmaker, who has directed Chocolate, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, Hate Story and Buddha in a Traffic Jam, none of which made much of an impact at the box office. He has lately gained attention for his “anti-Maoist” ideology, and for propagating an idea that there is “institutionalised terrorism” in Indian society.

Agnihotri is married to yesteryear actress Pallavi Joshi, who was recently in the news for a YouTube video explaining the Rafale deal to netizens. According to the monologue, the deal not only benefited India, but was a source of national pride. The video and Joshi herself drew flak from YouTubers, who called it “misguiding viewers with sugar-coated information” and acting as a “BJP mouthpiece”.


Also read: 10 activists arrested for Bhima-Koregaon violence. Nine names weren’t even in FIR


What according to him is an ‘Urban Naxal’?

Agnihotri defines an ‘Urban Naxal’ as an intellectual, influencer or activist who is an invisible enemy of India. He has expounded on this idea in his book titled Urban Naxals: The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam, released on 27 May, 2018.

The book takes the reader on a journey through Agnihotri’s struggle while making Buddha in a Traffic Jam. It has chapters with titles like “Bloody Fascist Brahmin, go back!”, “Jesus is coming”, “The New Big Idea: Urban Naxal”, and “Intellectual Mafia”.

Agnihotri proposes that Naxals are planning to take over the Indian state with detailed plans. He believes there is a nexus between Maoists and their “supporters” in academia and the media. He tweeted pictures of a document to prove his point; the title reads ‘Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution’, purportedly a 2007 publication by Maoists.

Critics have, however, taken strong objection to the term ‘Urban Naxals’. They say it is loosely – and dangerously – being used to brand any city resident who is anti-establishment or critical of the political Right. This, they say, reeks of intolerance and could even instigate violence.

Other allegations he has made

Among his other allegations against ‘Urban Naxals’, Agnihotri claims that donations for Kerala flood victims were a guise for these people to gather funds to advocate their agenda. In an interview, he blamed journalists for not covering the plight of the people during the violent insurgency in Kashmir.

Early this year, when 98 per cent of students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University refused to comply with a new rule that made attendance compulsory, he tweeted saying that these students wanted to “Break India”.

A vocal critic of the Congress, Agnihotri also spoke up against Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the party’s non-involvement in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. He said he was present when Sikhs were burnt and looted, and said he had “felt it”.

Defiant reactions to tweet

Members of the civil society at large have reacted to his tweet with sarcasm and defiance. Pratik Sinha, founder of the portal AltNews, said Agnihotri’s phrase must be turned into a ‘joke’, and started the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal.

Many academicians and journalists have adopted the hashtag, and have been tweeting at Agnihotri to add them to his list.

Meanwhile, some users have started compiling their own lists of ‘Urban Naxals’ and replying to Agnihotri.

Unsurprisingly, hate and threats of violence have started doing the rounds.

The handle @SatishAnna2 was later suspended by Twitter for issuing threats.


Also read: Bhima-Koregaon arrests: Urgent hearing in SC for activists after midnight drama


 

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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. ThePrint is no less than an #urbanNaxal so are TheQuint,News Laundry ,ScoopWhoop and thanks to people like VRA that we can verify news, the language used, the content portrayed to understand the bias …

  2. ThePrint is also an #urbanNaxal so are TheQuint,News Laundry ,ScoopWhoop and thanks to people like VRA that we can verify news, the language used, the content portrayed to understand the bias …

  3. Dear Wire, Quint, Alt News ,Mirchi lagi hai to samjh jao ki Jispe ‘Budhha in a Traffic jam’ book likhi gyi hai wo tum bhadwe hi ho

  4. Sonia Ji, seems there is IQ issue with this name. The video you mentioned is liked by 7.7K people 5 times more than dislikes, So please grow up Urban Nexal. Mirchi lagi kya jab unhone list banane ke liye kaha tho. He is doing great justice to Hindu Civilisation unlike you.

  5. Article was a joke but it shows you can’t ignore the nationalists as conveniently as before. Let us wait for the threshold be crossed & Nationalist get equal space in the media which is largely occupied by #UrbanNaxals.

  6. WILL YOU LIKE TO GUN DOWN RAPISTS OF LITTLE GIRLS IN INDIA. WILL YOU GUN DOWN OWNERS OF SHELTER HOUSES IN INDIA , WHO ARE BEHAVING WITH INMATE GIRLS AS RAPIST? WILL YOU GUN DOWN PEOPLE WHO ARE STEALING GOVT MONEY? YOU CAN NOT, BECAUSE YOU ARE A कायर PERSON. Else you would have fought for the inequalities in the Indian nation, not going to gun down Maoist.

  7. Sir, aren’t you giving credence to some one who is not to be taken seriously? Don’t you think the people arrested can prevail with their facts? Don’t you think our judicial system will deliver justice?

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