Politicos fail to see sarcasm in BMC official’s Gandhi-Godse tweet, seek her removal
Nidhi Choudhari, posted as Deputy Municipal Commissioner in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), landed in trouble after politicians failed to see the sarcasm in one of her tweets about Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse.
In a tweet posted on May 17, the IAS officer seemingly called for the removal of Mahatma Gandhi’s statues from across the world and his images from the Indian currency notes.
Further, demanding that institutions and roads named after the Father of the Nation be renamed, she also “thanked” his assassin Nathuram Godse.
“What an exceptional celebration of 150th birth anniversary year is going on. High time we remove his face from our currency, his statues from across the world, rename institutions/roads named after him! That would be a real tribute from all of us! ThankU#Godse for 30.01.1948,” it read.
The tweet remained largely unnoticed until last Saturday when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) politician Dr. Jitendra Awhad demanded her suspension for the “derogatory” tweet about Mahatma Gandhi and “glorification” of Godse.
“She glorified Godse by posting a derogatory tweet about Gandhiji. This shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said.
A similar sentiment was echoed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan even demanded that an FIR be registered against the IAS officer.
Soon after, Choudhari deleted her original tweet and offered an explanation, in which she claimed that the tweet was “sarcastic” and it was “misinterpreted”.
Claiming that Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘My Experiments With Truth’ is her all-time favourite book, Choudhari asked netizens to go through her timeline to understand her how she really felt about the father of the nation.
“I have deleted my tweet of 17.05.2019 w.r.t. GandhiJi because some people misunderstood it. If only they had followed my timeline since 2011 they would’ve understood that I would NEVER even dream of insulting GandhiJi. I bow before him with deepest regard & will do till last breath,” Choudhari wrote.
I have deleted my tweet of 17.05.2019 w.r.t. GandhiJi because some people misunderstood it
If only they had followed my timeline since 2011 they would’ve understood that I would NEVER even dream of insulting GandhiJi
I bow before him with deepest regard & will do till last breath pic.twitter.com/CSjaKHF9BJ
— Nidhi Choudhari?☪️✝️☸️ (@nidhichoudhari) May 31, 2019
“I am a devout follower of GandhiJi and would NEVER insult him. The tweet which has been misinterpreted was a sarcasm and not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments,” she said in one of her other tweets.
Several netizens who know Choudhari or have been following her on Twitter also shared screenshots of her old tweets, which clearly show her reverence towards Mahatma Gandhi.
Stop trolling @nidhichoudhari for the tweet, what seems controversial but in fact it was a sarcasm.. A high level sarcasm.. And if you really believe she thanked Godse then what these post/thought say about her.. No.1- Sarcasm, other 3 her previous posts.. pic.twitter.com/b60Vv7lP2R
— Chandan Virat Bharati (@CVBharati) June 1, 2019
Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time a government official faced heat for comments posted on social media.
In the past, several officials have been served notices or suspended for posting views which are either controversial or outright critical of the government and its policies.