Twitter barbs sting BRB
KATHMANDU, APR 08 – A nationwide strike enforced by the UCPN (Maoist)-led 30-party opposition alliance on Tuesday elicited widespread criticism on social media.
Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with barbs pointed at the banda enforcers who resorted to vandalism and arson since early morning.
“The ones to call #Bandh are simply stupid! Yes: stupid, lazy, vision less and please, don’t try to justify by saying this is a fight!,” tweeted Hima þ@himabista, denouncing the banda culture. Many others condemned the banda as a violation of people’s right to mobility and a blow to the country’s industrial sector.
A photo of a young boy weeping after his mother was attacked by a group of protesters in Chabahil was also shared in many social networking websites.
Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai, who has the most number of Twitter followers in the country, naturally became an easy target of indignation.
“I have absolutely no respect for politicians who use Nepal Banda as their political tool. ZERO. @brb_laaldhwoj just so you know,” tweeted Anil Bhattarai @anilbhattarai.
Meanwhile, the Maoist leader dismissed his critics, terming them “elites” who were feigning sympathy for the poor. “It’s amusing 2 see our elites shedding crocodile tears over d plight of d poor during d strikes only!If they were so tearful at other times!,” tweeted Bhattarai.
Soon a retort followed from Shasanka Lamichhane þ@er_thezentleman: “@brb_laaldhwoj Shedding tears,no matter even if it’s crocodile,is far better than shedding blood. All of u are bloody same. No need of this.”
Journalist Kanak Mani Dixit tweeted: “People should join a bandh voluntarily. Here you, Baburam Bhattarai, are enforcing it with threats, sticks, stones and arson.”
While many netizens expressed anger over the banda, some had an alternative take.
“We might protest against the ‘agenda’ of the banda but it doesn’t suit a democratic society to protests against dissent. Didn’t we fight for this very right to protest?” tweeted Stone Man @anupdgn.
Civil society member Devendra Raj Pandey tweeted: “Protests—street agitations have value. That’s how 2005/06 movement began but it needs supportive political environment.”