A Debate With An IPS Officer Ends with True Indology Twitter account (@tlinexile) suspension | Is Twitter biased Platform?

A war of words broke out on social media between IPS officer D Roopa and a Twitter user who goes by the name ‘True Indology’ over whether firecrackers are Indian or not. The tussle that began with D Roopa questioning the need for bursting firecrackers on Deepavali has ended in the suspension of True Indology’s account.

A Debate With An IPS Officer Ends with True Indology Twitter account (@tlinexile) suspension | Is Twitter biased Platform?
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A war of words broke out on social media between IPS officer D Roopa and a Twitter user who goes by the name ‘True Indology’ over whether firecrackers are Indian or not. The tussle that began with D Roopa questioning the need for bursting firecrackers on Deepavali has ended in the suspension of True Indology’s account, which has irked right-wing Twitter. However, it is not clear why the account, a staunch Hindutva proponent, has been suspended and based on whose complaint.

Several popular figures have come out in support of the account and have demanded Jack Dorsey-led Twitter restore it. Such is the support that #BringBackTrueIndology is the number one trend on the micro-blogging site at the time of publishing this article. This is not the first time that True Indology has faced action, as many on the Internet have pointed out.

Recently, Karnataka police officer D Roopa had taken to Twitter to justify the ban of crackers and had even argued that there was no mention of crackers in the Hindu scriptures. She argued that the bursting of crackers was not an integral part of celebrating Diwali and hence, the ban on firecrackers is justified.

TrueIndology had objected to the claims made by D Roopa and had asserted that firecrackers find a mention even in old scriptures and have been a part of Deepavali celebrations. Overall, in the long online argument between the two, D Roopa’s stand was that since firecrackers have not been a part of ancient Diwali celebrations, they should not be seen as a part of Hindu traditions of Diwali and the ban on firecrackers should not be seen as an attack on Hindu practices.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have already been facing criticism for being biased to particular ideologies on their platforms. The nature of how content is moderated on these sites to identify insensitive and offensive information and hate speech has been questioned.

Earlier this morning, an account by the name True Indology, under the handle @tlinexile, was suspended on Twitter. Many Twitteratis are enraged that this curbs freedom of expression and are blaming IPS officer D Roopa Moudgil for the same. They are demanding an explanation from Twitter for the suspension of the account.

When did it all start?
The suspension seems to be a consequence of the ongoing debate that Indians engaged in recently regarding the ban on crackers during Diwali. While many such as Moudgil, the first lady IPS officer in Karnataka, supported the cause since it was an effective measure against rising pollution, many Indians were upset about the ban.

On November 15, Moudgil wrote an article in the Times of India, questioning and criticizing why people had a problem with the ban on crackers. She elaborated that the ban was in the best interest of the people, as there were predictions that Delhi and Bengaluru would be the worst hit by pollution and smog.

She was also critical of those who were vouching for crackers. She explained how it was never mentioned in any scriptures and was particularly dismayed by young people taking the ban as an offense on religious sentiments.