Twitter on Sunday suspended the account of author and journalist Salil Tripathi, evoking outraged comments from many. Some opine that the suspension should be viewed in conjunction with the fact that Tripathi had recently spoken about the Babri Masjid demolition, sharing a poem titled ‘My Mother’s Fault’. The news of the suspension has since triggered many concerned posts and comments by well known figures.
In the poem, he had recalled the horrors that came with the demolition of Babri Masjid, the 2002 Gujarat riots and more. ‘My Mother’s Fault’ incidentally is not a new poem, having been published in 2009 as a part of his book, ‘Offence: The Hindu Case’.
“Why has Salil Tripathi’s Twitter account been suspended? Earlier today, he’d tweeted about the demolition of the Babri Masjid, expressing the continuing anguish many also feel — hope Twitter India will restore his voice soonest,” tweeted writer Nilanjana Roy on Sunday evening.
In a follow-up post she referred to other posts and coincidental events to surmise that Tripathi’s account had been “mass-reported by the Usual Suspects to an Incompetent Authority”.
Why has @saliltripathi's Twitter account been suspended?
— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) December 6, 2020
Roy is not alone. Many other well known authors and activists as well as political leaders have come out in support of Tripathi, urging Twitter to rectify the situation at the earliest.
“I can’t believe this. How on earth could Twitter suspend the account of a highly respected writer, author and human rights activist? Do their algorithms have no human being applying common sense before undertaking such actions?” wondered writer and politician Shashi Tharoor.
I can’t believe this. How on earth could @Twitter suspend the account of a highly respected writer, author & human rights activist? Do their algorithms have no human being applying common sense before undertaking such actions? #SalilTripathi pic.twitter.com/nVZLvvZzi3
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 7, 2020
“Beyond astonished to learn that Salil Tripathi’s Twitter account (@saliltripathi) has been suspended. Salil is an outstanding journalist, writer and human rights activist. He is also the chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee,” tweeted author Amitav Ghosh.
Beyond astonished to learn that Salil Tripathi's @Twitter account (@saliltripathi) has been suspended. Salil is an outstanding journalist, writer and human rights activist. He is also the chair of PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee. @pen_int @ayadakhtar
— Amitav Ghosh (@GhoshAmitav) December 6, 2020
Fellow author Salman Rushdie also took to the microblogging platform calling it an “outrageous act of censorship against one of the most important advocates of free speech”.
“Twitter stop it now! @jack what’s going on?” he asked.
“Pay attention @TwitterIndia. Get this suspension reversed now,” urged a follow-up post.
— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) December 6, 2020
Tripathi is a Mumbai-born journalist and writer, who currently chairs the PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. In the past he has received several awards for his reportage, and currently writes for Mint and Caravan in India.
As his website explains, ‘Offence: The Hindu Case‘ (which houses the poem mentioned earlier in this article), is his first book. It is about the “rise of Hindu nationalism and its implications on free expression”.
Source: Free Press Journal