Thousands of Indians from scheduled classes, known as Dalits or "Untouchables", have started a massive campaign against Twitter , demanding that they be given a 'rightful place' on the platform and that it stop using 'blue ticks' to divide users.
People claiming to be from the lower strata of the ancient caste hierarchy system have been raising their voice using different hashtags such as #JaiBhimJaiMandalJaiBirsa, #ब्राह्मणवादीट्विटर, and #JaiBhimTwitter since the beginning of November.
One of the campaigners of this movement against Twitter India is senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal, who accused it of being Brahminical for not awarding or verifying hundreds of prominent people form the "oppressed" community with a blue tick indicating a verified account. Nevertheless, days after the campaign Mandal received the Blue Tick on Monday morning.
“Remove my blue tick. Who asked for it? Give everyone equal status,” Mandal quipped soon after receiving the verification sign. “It is not about verification or Blue Tick. Arbitrarily, Twitter is dividing social media on the basis of social hierarchy. We (the oppressed community) do not approve of this kind of biasness,” Mandal added.
Mandal received massive support from prominent leaders, political parties and people from the traditionally oppressed group.
Sadhavi ji, Read the tweet again...let us help you specified sentence..Re-read— Rashtriya Janata Dal (@RJDforIndia) November 3, 2019
“Any caste or person can be a follower of Brahminism” https://t.co/UWDiAoXGdD
The people have shared incidents in support of what they claim is the bias shown by Twitter India, which is currently headed by Manish Maheshwari.
Since the arrival of Maheshwari, Twitter accounts of prominent Dalit activists or leaders - Dilip Mandal, Hansraj Meena, Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, Waasim Akram Tyagi were blocked or locked for some time over alleged violation of the platform's policy.
A similar blockade took place on Monday after Twitter India blocked the handle of Ratan Lal (@ratanlal72), a teacher who is an active member of the 'Ambedkariate' movement, which seeks to promote egalitarianism.
this is heights!— wacky genius (@whackygenius) November 4, 2019
dr ratan lal is a well known intellectual in delhi university, whereas twitter should've long given him verification and blue tick, now twitter has gone ahead and blocked his account 😠#RestoreProfRatanlal https://t.co/AhbuI0ap28
Last year, social media giant Twitter was forced to apologise after its CEO Jack Dorsey triggered outrage in India by posing with a group of female journalists with a poster reading "Smash Brahminical Patriarchy".
A series of trolls derided CEO Jack Dorsey and Twitter India, vehemently slamming the social media giant for allegedly "spreading hatred" against a section of society. Brahmans are the traditional upper caste of Hindus in India.
Caste conflict in Indian society has deep roots for political and economic reasons. Historically, upper castes have generally been land-owning castes, while lower castes include marginalised and underprivileged rural people, which are given special protection as 'scheduled' castes and tribes.