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MP Tejasvi Surya’s ‘disrespectful’ 2015 tweet on Arab women kicks up new row, deletes post




Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya | Twitter | @Tejasvi_Surya
Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya | Twitter | @Tejasvi_Surya

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Bengaluru: Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya has landed in a row for a tweet he had posted in 2015 with an “objectionable” comment about Arab women. The tweet was highlighted by various prominent citizens of Arab nations Sunday, following which the BJP MP deleted it. 

Among the first to call out Surya was Dubai-based businesswoman Noora AlGhurair, who said she “pitied his upbringing that has taught him to disrespect women”. She also warned him against “travelling to Arab lands if he is ever bestowed a foreign ministry”. 

It was soon picked up by other prominent Arab Twitter handles, some of whom tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The tweet had earlier been circulated on social media when Surya contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 but it did not gain much traction then. The issue snowballed after AlGhurair, who has been very vocal about the way Muslims are being treated in India, highlighted it once again. 

Several prominent social media handles in the Arab nations have been of late calling out “ill-treatment” of Muslims in India.  

The Surya controversy comes on the back of Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of United Arab Emirates, warning that Indians who work in the UAE and post ‘Islamophobic’ content on social media will be deported.  

A number of Indians working in the Middle East have already been sacked in the recent past for objectionable social media posts.  

ThePrint tried to reach out to Surya for his comment on the controversy but all the calls went unanswered. This report will be updated when he responds.  

Past controversies involving MP Surya

The BJP MP had been called out for the same tweet in 2015 too. Among those who had slammed him back then was Karnataka Congress leader Y.B. Srivatsa, who had called it “cheap”.  

“He (Surya) used to put out a lot of such comments claiming they are quotes of others. When I called him out then, he claimed he was merely quoting Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani-Canadian journalist-author,” Srivatsa told ThePrint. 

“It is his way to push his type of ideology but the fact that he tweeted it only means Surya endorses what Fatah has said.”  

Srivatsa added that such tweets could cause problems to Indians working in the Middle East as there “are several young Surya followers who have been posting venomous comments against Arabs while working in the Emirates”.  

“Old utterances are also being culled out and that is how Surya’s sexist comments came to light,” the Congress leader said. “While it shows how people of the Sangh Parivar view such things, it will also cause problems to Indians living in the Middle East.”  

BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje was also of the same opinion. “Indians work all across the world. As responsible citizens, we should ensure we do not make comments that can hurt or affect our fellow Indians,” she told ThePrint.   

Handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest from Bengaluru South, Surya has landed in trouble several times for his tweets. He once posted that he “dreads” the day when women reservation will become a reality. Surya deleted a tweet within 24 hours of being named as the BJP candidate in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.  

“With the exception of Womens’ Reservation in Parliament, Modi govt agenda is inspiring. Dread d day when women’s reservation becomes reality,” he had said in the now-deleted tweet.

Also read: PM Modi, here are my five questions to you as India fights the coronavirus

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown

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