IIT-B in trouble for calling people voting for BJP 'stupid' on Twitter

Updated: Apr 23, 2019, 07:35 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

A tweet calling people voting for BJP 'stupid' was posted from the institute's official handle, in response to author Shefali Vaidya's tweet

Amid the many controversies surrounding the election season was a tweet by the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (@SJMSoM) of the Indian Institute of Technology — Bombay (IIT-B) that sparked controversy on Monday afternoon. The politically-coloured tweet received much criticism on the social media platform. The tweet was soon deleted and the institute's official public relations office immediately issued a clarification, and the official twitter handle was deactivated too.

"Because Hinduism and Hindutva are not the same. Being religious and being stupid are two different things. People here maybe religious but not stupid enough to vote for #BJP," the tweet read. It was posted in response to a tweet by political commentator and columnist Shefali Vaidya reading: "The @BJP4India's message for WB is clear, now it is up to people of WB to decide whether they want to save their culture or be West Bangladesh!" The columnist was referring to a news article about BJP President Bharat Shah's speech in Kolkata stating, "If someone can restore Saraswati pooja and Durga pooja with respect, it is only the BJP."

The author immediately responded to @SJMSoM, demanding an explanation on whether the institute was taking an official political stand. The author tweteed, "Because the @SJMSoM is a verified tweeter handle, IIT-B should clarify a) whether it is the official stand that only 'stupid people vote for BJP? b) When did your institute move to West Bengal as my tweet was about voters in Bengal and c) Who is the dumb Bengali SJW who is managing this handle?"

The IIT-B PRO in response said, "A politically-coloured statement was published today at 3:11pm on Twitter account titled 'SJMSoM, IIT Bombay'. On enquiry, it has come to our notice that such an account exists and is managed by a group of students without the knowledge of institute authorities. This is not the official Twitter handle of IIT Bombay. The account seems to be compromised. IIT Bombay wishes to clarify that the institute does not take any political standpoint and completely distances itself from such statements. The matter is being investigated."

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