NEW DELHI – Twitter users on Sunday protested against remarks 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.
प्रिय, रामदेव (@yogrishiramdev) आपने अब तक माफी नहीं माँगी, आपकी ये हिम्मत? ये हिम्मत आती कहाँ से हैं? सत्ता व हुक्मरानों से। ध्यान रहें, हम सबको झुकाने जानते हैं। पेरियार,अम्बेडकर, मूलनिवासी अस्मिता पर वाहयत टिप्पणी और हमें वैचारिक आंतकवादी कहना बर्दाश्त नहीं। #shutdownPatanjali pic.twitter.com/1ZrviDrOt1
— Hansraj Meena (@ihansraj) November 17, 2019
— Prof. Dilip Mandal (@dilipmandal) November 17, 2019
Dear @mkstalin an alleged Baba Ramdev said that the followers of Periyar are intellectual terrorist, do you agree with him? People are condemning him for his statement, since last 2-3 days. #BoycottPatanjaliProducts
— Nitin Meshram (@nitinmeshram_) November 16, 2019
Other Twitter users also shared their views on the issue, demanding Ramdev’s arrest and calling for a boycott of Patanjali products.
Ramdev has insulted our great Periyar Ambedkar Birsa . We must boycott him and his products. We should sue him too. We want #ArrestRamdev .
🙏जय भीम जय पेरियार जय बिरसा 🙏#BoycottPatanjaliProducts#shutdownPatanjali #Ramdev_Insults_Periyar
— Dr.Sunil Kumar Meena (@Drsunil0198) November 17, 2019
There is a stigma in the name of Ramdev Yadav.He is a slave of the Confederates.He is a traitor born in Bahujan.All Bahujans should give an agreement to this so that no one can dare to abuse our great men.Make the ears fun#shutdownPatanjali #Ramdev_Insults_Periyar#ArrestRamdev pic.twitter.com/Wi5QrTFkBi
— DefaulterGabbar (@DefaulterGabbar) November 17, 2019
What is intellectual terrorism according to Ramdev
1. If you are Ambedkarite
2. If you're Periyariest
3. If you believe in Social Justice
4. If you believe in feminism
5. If you believe in democracy
6. If you believe in liberalism
If you believe…#BoycottPatanjaliProducts
— The Dalit Voice (@ambedkariteIND) November 16, 2019
Now Ramdev has crossed all the limits of sycophancy. He always speaks against the bahujan community, which he belongs himself. Now he has insulted our great icons. He should be detailed and prosecuted. @dilipmandal#arrestramdev pic.twitter.com/v7N8oWVBYZ
— gautam.bharati (@gautambharati1) November 17, 2019
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.