ON A day, IAS officer from Kashmir, Shah Faesal stirred up a debate by writing a newspaper article with a strong argument that every hour of prime time TV news aggression pushes Kashmir a mile westward from India, former foreign secretary of India and 1973 batch retired IFS Nirupama Rao carried forward the debate in micro-blogging site Twitter, giving reasons why there is a need for matured and intelligent discourse, and also giving befitting replies to trolls. Rao, who had huge experience in effectively handling many a tricky issue including Kashmir diplomatically at various global forums in the past, said,“I believe what passes for a debate every night on some tv channels is farcical and an insult to intelligence. Is this what the nation wants?”, adding that those tend to show us up as “a big nation of small minds” and damages India’s image as a mature, thoughtful democracy. Her arguments came in the backdrop of a criticism that a section of mainstream news channels reportedly flared-up the the situation in Kashmir valley after terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8. In the unrest that followed in the subsequent days, 41 people including civilians have lost their lives.
As many trolls jumped into the debate that Rao had initiated, she finally decided to take on some of them. “The trolls who dare not speak their names because they are lily-livered”, she tweeted. To one who claimed Rao was saying all these as she had a grudge against the PM for removing her, apparently getting confused with her successor Sujatha Singh, Rao shot back: “Prove it. You are levelling untruths against me and conforming to your identity as a troll and serial liar.” To another tweet, she replied: “…U don't know first or last about what it is to be a public servant.” While reminding everyone that she is an Army daughter herself, Rao said, she salute our soldiers and men and women in uniform.
Some of the trolls later deleted their tweets.
Rao who joined Twitter in February 2011 has 7.91 lakh Twitter followers.