The government may have banned firecrackers on Diwali but the real fireworks are flying on Twitter. Jokes apart, senior IPS officer Roopa Divakar Moudgil, popularly known as D. Roopa, has been trending on the micro-blogging since past few days.
The reason behind it was that she had traded barbs with the popular Twitter handle True Indology over whether firecrackers are Indian or not. The war of words between the two began with the former questioning the need for bursting firecrackers on Diwali. The arguments got so heated up that Twitter ended up suspending True Indology's account.
How did it start?
D. Roopa had posted a status on her Facebook account wall on November 15 questioning why some people oppose a ban on firecrackers. This is what she posted:
"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!" the IPS officer wrote in her post.
Many users agreed with her statement, posting several positive comments in reply to her post. But as she shared the same post on Twitter, several netizens said she should question the customs of other religions as well.
While her post received several positive comments, many others criticised her, True Indology being one of them. The exchange went on for several tweets, drawing the attention of other notable Twitter users as well.
The tussle led to True Indology's account getting suspended by Twitter, following which actor Kangana Ranaut too questioned the micro-blogging site on the suspension of the account.
Taking to Twitter, Kangana also posted, "When they don't have answers to your questions they break your house, put you in jail, gag your voice, or kill your digital identity. Eliminating one's digital identity is no less than murder in the virtual world, there must be strict laws against it."
When they don’t have answers to your questions they break your house, put you in jail, gag your voice or kill your digital identity. Eliminating one’s digital identity is no less than a murder in virtual world, there must be strict laws against it #BringBackTrueIndologyhttps://t.co/tvPiWidQez— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) November 18, 2020
Following this furore, as a result of the backlash from Kangana and other social media users, #BringBackTrueIndology trended on Twitter.
What was the fight?
While D. Roopa claimed of no mention of crackers in ancient texts and said that there's "nothing Hindu about crackers", True Indology, in disagreement, presented with references from Skanda Purana and Ananda Ramayana.
The two maneuvered themselves into loggerheads with each other after which a war of words broke between them.
True Indology reaction
Hours after Twitter suspended its account, True Indology took to Instagram to post its first response, calling the suspension "unfair" and terming it "saddening and exasperating."
Posting screenshots of the fight with D. Roopa on Twitter, the anonymous user recounted the whole incident as "magic that happened" on the micro-blogging site.
Although the exact reason why True Indology's account was suspended by Twitter, has not been known yet, it said on Instagram that the suspension happened just five minutes after D. Roopa threatened it saying "your time is up" as the anonymous user refused to disclose its personal details.
Sharing its side of the story, True Indology posted, "One IPS officer from Bengaluru (Twitter India Head Quarters) issued directives to ban Diwali crackers. She said that crackers were not mentioned in ancient texts. I disagreed with her and showed her references from Ananda Ramayana and Skanda Purana."
"She asked me for my personal details. I refused to divulge those details. She then said, "Your time is up". And boom. My account was suspended within 5 minutes. What a sweet coincidence! Twitter sent no mail. Gave no reason. Simply suspended my account. I did not divulge personal details. Hence, I was only digitally eliminated. What would have happened if I had? I shudder to think," True Indology further wrote.
In another Instagram post, it said, "Yes, my account has been unfairly suspended. We all know why it was suspended. Yes, it is indeed very saddening and exasperating to see that all the time and efforts put in to cultivate the account went down the drain because somebody took it upon her ego. The account had good reach and it was quite handy in making a lot of people aware of the issues we face as a civilisation. As such, it served as a potent weapon to make people aware. I will try to do what I can to restore my account." The user also thanked people who tweeted in his support.
How popular Twitterati reacted
Weighing on the Twitter spat between the IPS officer D. Roopa and the popular Twitter handle True Indology, Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that it is unbecoming of IPS officers to be bickering with Twitter handles and "that too during working hours."
Sharing a piece of advice, he further stated, "Make a point, let it go, you aren't winning anything by arguing on social media!"
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
Meanwhile, coming out in support of True Indology, Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra said that this is the second time Twitter has "unreasonably" suspended the account, which is one of the most informative and decent handles on the platform.