Ads on 'Toxic' News Channels: Another War of Words on Twitter Between Nishikant Dubey and Shashi Tharoor

Payal Mehta
·3-min read

A war of words on Monday erupted yet again between BJP and Congress MPs who are members of the Department Related Standing Committee for Information Technology.

In a series of tweets, Congress's Shashi Tharoor said: "Should such reputable companies be financing hate through ads on Repulsive TV? Raymonds, Muthoot Group, Jio, Max Bupa, Kent, Air India, Star Health Insurance, Nissan, Dabur, Mahindra, Amazon, Samsung, Sony, Maruti, Nerolac, Toyota. Can they find the moral courage to be like Parle?"

"Shouldn't corporates have the 'same moral and social duties as individuals, to condemn immoral ideology, to abjure hate and communalism, to not incite one community against another, to distinguish between the truth and falsehood?" he added. "These amoral corporates should know that their 'Return on investment' is 'a society and country being torn apart by the channels they fund. Our corporates aspire to be global entities but fail to espouse global values'. Why do companies fund hatred?"

Replying to Tharoor, former Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said: "You have donned the hat of judge jury and executioner. That too on the subject under scrutiny of Parliamentary ‘Standing Committee of IT’ of which you happen to be the chairman. Why have members, witnesses and experts then?"

Dubey went a step ahead and said there should be a no-confidence motion notice against Tharoor, having written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asking to be removed from the Committee.

In the letter, Dubey cites Rule 55 that says: "The proceedings of a Committee shall be treated as confidential and it shall not be permissible for a member of the Committee or anyone who has access to its proceedings to communicate, directly or indirectly, to the Press any information regarding its proceedings including its report or any conclusions arrived at, finally or tentatively, before the report has been presented to the House."

Dubey wrote: "Dr Shashi Tharoor had again started his "Catch the Media Attention" campaign by mis-using the platform of Standing Committee on Information Technology. In order to give your kind goodself an indication of professional disorientation and delinquency exhibited by Dr Tharoor, I wish to encroach upon your precious time, by informing that presently, the Committee on Information Technology has been looking after various subjects, which also includes the aspect of TRP. However, without caring for your advisory and the dignity which a public representative, in the capacity of a Chairperson of a Parliamentary Committee is required to exhibit, Dr Tharoor had again started his provoking tweets."

"Since the conduct of Dr Tharoor has now become incorrigible, I - being a public representative for the third consecutive time - feel pained and, therefore, to request your goodself to kindly consider nominating me to some other Committee so that I would once again be able to participate in the deliberations of the Parliamentary Committee in an effective manner and also put my efforts for the overall welfare of citizens of our great country," he added.

A Twitter duel had recently erupted between Dubey and Opposition MPs Tharoor and Mahua Moitra of the TMC over the prospect of the panel seeking views of Facebook on a report from the Wall Street Journal claiming the social media giant's India arm Facebook deliberately did not act on hateful content in the country.