BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was lambasted and schooled by netizens on Wednesday, July 1, after he tweeted a heart-wrenching image of a boy in Jammu and Kashmir sitting on his grandfather's corpse who lost his life in an encounter between terrorists and security forces, with a bizarre caption 'Pulitzer Lovers'.
The politicisation of the image triggered massive outrage with netizens calling out the BJP leader for his insensitive comment that aimed at Indian Pulitzer prize winning journalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand - for their photography from Kashmir after the central government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution.
Jignesh Mevani, MLA from Gujarat, reminded Patra that the image is an evidence of the violent encounter in which the innocent man of the Kashmir valley lost his life.
This is the level of Shaakha behaviour.— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) July 1, 2020
First undemocratically remove Art 370 and assure that it will finally bring peace to Kashmir, then at the same time mock a crying baby and the death of a Kashmiri civilian?!
Not only is there no peace yet, you also prove you are shameless. https://t.co/Af69w04yUJ
Many called out the leader for his heartless comment related to the grieving child and for using it to do nasty politics. Many even asked him to take down the tweet.
Do you not have an iota of empathy left in you?? https://t.co/PJYT4uZZbj— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) July 1, 2020
Patra was quick to respond. "Yes Madam I have EMPATHY ..for my forces ..for Every Indian Citizen irrespective of their religion.. Unlike you whose Empathy is selective Remember I am not a Selective Placard holder BTW I am your fan and would love to see you with a Placard condemning pak sponsored Jihad today," he wrote.
Music composer Vishal Dadlani took to Twitter asking the social media platform to take action against the BJP spokesperson.
Can @TwitterIndia and @Twitter take cognisance of the sensitive material in the attached tweet and the hateful reason for this post, and take action against this man?— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) July 1, 2020
Also, can all right-thinking people with a sense of decency and empathy, please report his account? Thanks. https://t.co/MaXmF1SnDB
Journalist Sagarika Ghose wrote, "Heartless and hateful tweet @sambitswaraj. Intense human suffering and a grieving child, not the moment for nasty politics. Kindly delete".
In response, Patra tweeted: "Heartless is to endorse "Jihad" & "Terrorism" without a word. It takes heart to stand against Pak sponsored terrorism ..Well those who make a living out of intense human suffering should not counter posture when the picture does not fit into their AGENDA"
If a single tweet could capture the utter moral destitution that Modi has wrought in India, this is it. Here is his party spokesman glorying in the sight of a little boy with the body of his dead grandfather, killed in crossfire in Kashmir. https://t.co/pzurkOipud— Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) July 1, 2020
Atma-gyaan— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) July 1, 2020
Self-realisation is a wonderful thing https://t.co/CEEpQNjIeg
बोलो रे बेईमान, क्यूँ सरेन्डर किया देश का सम्मान— Kanhaiya Kumar (@kanhaiyakumar) June 30, 2020
और क्यूँ नही लिया अब तक चाइना का नाम
गलवान में शहीद हो गए हमारे 20 जवान
और तुम पका रहे जुलाई में छठ पूजा का पकवान
After widespread criticism, Patra slammed his critics and said that even late Rishi Kapoor would have stood by him had he been alive.
I have taken on the Diyas & the Dadlanis today ..but in the same Bollywood I miss my friend @chintskap ..had he been around He would have stood with me ..He always had ...wherever you are RISHI my 🙏🙏 to you ..Miss you ..I know tonight you would surely have called me!!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) July 1, 2020
But even as netizens criticised Patra, the BJP leader is unfazed. The leader, in another post wrote, "I am going to post all the pictures to expose the "Jihad" of Pakistan And yes let the liberals,the Communists & the Congressis cry foul ..as much as they want!!"