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#ArrestRamdev trends on Twitter

In a recent TV interview, Ramdev described followers of Ambedkar, Lenin, and Periyar as 'intellectual terrorists'

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 17.11.19, 6:33 PM
  • Updated 17.11.19, 6:33 PM
  • a min read
  •  
In an interview on November 11 to Republic TV, Ramdev called that followers of Ambedkar and Periyar are indulging in 'vyacharik aatankwaad' (intellectual terrorism) Telegraph file picture

Twitter users on Sunday protested against remarks allegedly made by Patanjali Ayurved co-founder Ramdev against followers of social activist Periyar and Dr B. R. Ambedkar, resulting in hashtag #arrestRamdev trending on the micro-blogging site.

In an interview on Monday, November 11, 2019, to Republic, Ramdev called that followers of anti-caste leaders B.R. Ambedkar and Periyar E.V. Ramaswami are indulging in vyacharik aatankwaad (intellectual terrorism), a term he claimed to have coined himself.

Initially, Ramdev’s interview generated various memes, especially using the image of the yoga guru lifiting Republic editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami up in the air.

However, on Sunday, November 17, responses became relatively serious with people demanding his arrest for his alleged remarks. Trending hashtags also called for a boycott of Patanjali products.

Journalism professor Dilip Mandal, who has used his Twitter page to raise awareness on Dalit issues, shared several tweets on the issue. Political activist Hansraj Meena shared a video clip of the interview, saying that abusive statements on Periyar and Ambedkar, and calling "us intellectual terrorists" cannot be tolerated.

Other Twitter users also shared their views on the issue, demanding Ramdev's arrest and calling for a boycott of Patanjali products.

As #ArrestRamdev, #BoycottPatanjaliProducts and #RamdevInsultsPeriyar trended, another hashtag #Salute_Baba_Ramdev began appearing on the micro-blogging website. A few users, including Mandal, called it the handiwork of the BJP IT cell.

Many users found ways to troll Ramdev over the issue.

In the TV interview, Ramdev had said that followers of Periyar have increased negativity. "Supporters of Periyar say that people who follow gods are fools, those who worship him are miscreants, and that God is evil, and such rubbish."

Ramdev went on to claim that we don't need Lenin, Marx and Mao, and said that they had views that went against Indian culture. He referred to their followers as "so bad". 

Later in the interview, he claimed that the followers of those people were "dividing" the nation, and he had coined a term for them: intellectual terrorists.