The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the maximum online presence amongst all the political parties present in India. The official Facebook page of the BJP has over 14 million ‘likes’, in comparison to its next major opposition the Indian National Congress that doesn’t even have five million. Both Narendra Modi and the BJP have a huge number of supporters online, many of them have come under a lot of criticism for blatantly posting abusive content.
YouTuber Dhruv Rathee did an interview with a man called Mahavir who claims to be a former member of the BJP IT cell from 2012 to 2015. He reveals how aggressively the BJP IT cell works and has so much reach in the digital space according to him, that they can ‘destroy the secular fabric of the country online in an hour’.
Mahavir opens up and tells us in detail how the BJP IT cell does its best to create a communally charged environment and create the fear of Muslims in the online space. How a nationalist frenzy is constantly whipped up through unofficial army pages which have millions of ‘likes’ on them and how Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally appreciates the work that they do.
Interestingly, when Dhruv Rathee asks him whether he personally believed in the messages being spread, he doesn’t reply in the affirmative. He replies, “Nahin mai toh maanta nahin tha. Mere ghar ke padosi bhi Musalmaan hai toh mujhe phone bhi karte hai ki Mahavir yaar itna ulta seedha tu likh raha hai, tujhe mil kya raha hai. Maine bola, bhai aapko pata hai rozi roti ka savaal hai.”
According to Mahavir, there could even be around 20,000 people who work for the BJP IT cell from all parts of the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under sharp criticism over the years from various quarters for following many Twitter users who regularly post abusive, misogynistic and communally charged statements.
This is a must-watch interview which will convince you that in the 21st-century political battles are fought online as much as they are fought on the ground.