The Internet Never Forgets: Bangalore MP Tejasvi Surya’s Misogynistic Tweets Return to Haunt Him

Politics

The Internet Never Forgets: Bangalore MP Tejasvi Surya’s Misogynistic Tweets Return to Haunt Him

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The BJP’s prized youth leader, Tejasvi Surya, found himself in the eye of an international storm on Sunday, after a misogynistic tweet, that has now been deleted, resurfaced on Twitter.

The MP shot to fame after becoming the youngest parliamentarian for the BJP in 2019, when he won the Bangalore South seat at the age of 28. A tweet posted four years before that much-lauded victory, however, is now going viral, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some voters.

“95% Arab women have never had an orgasm in the last few hundred years! Every mother has produced kids as act of sex and not love:@TarekFatah,” reads the tweet posted by the MP in 2015. He was apparently quoting Tarek Fatah, a Canadian journalist and regular on Indian news channels, who is no stranger to controversy either.

The tweet also happened to catch the attention of Arab intellectuals and leaders on Sunday, who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against Surya.

A humanitarian lawyer in Kuwait, and Director of the International Human Rights said the “Arab sentiment had been badly wounded” by the tweet.

Abdur Rahman Nassar, another intellectual based in Kuwait, tagged PM Modi in his tweet, demanding action against the parliamentarian.

The old tweet also caused severe backlash back home with journalists, opposition leaders, and even influential YouTubers calling for Surya to step down.

In the past, the BJP leader has been praised for his social media accounts, most notably for his adorable posts of his St Bernard named Bheema, as well as his “very millennial” thread after winning his seat in 2019, which bore some resemblance to the average Oscar speech.

In the last few months or so, the MP has focused his Tweets on the relief packages offered by the BJP in his home constituency, and the various measures the state has been taking to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

But the deleted tweet is just another reminder of the skeletons in Surya’s closet.

All through the day, more controversial tweets surfaced. Back in 2018, Surya had urged the BJP to unapologetically be a party for Hindu voters, since the Congress was a “party for Muslims”.

Then, there was the time he said in a speech that those who opposed the Prime Minister were anti-India…

And the time he urged followers to “unapologetically agitate for a Hindu Rashtra”…

In March 2019, when he was running for parliament, Surya faced flak for a tweet in which he apparently said he “dreaded the day women’s reservation becomes a reality”. He later deleted his tweet, and claimed to not remember posting it.

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But, clearly, as Sunday’s events would have probably indicated, the internet never forgets.

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