" Sonia Gandhi's man".
"Rahul Gandhi's man."
"Digviay Singh's man."
" Licking shoes of Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi to get a job."
"A deshbakht who has metamorphosed into a Congressy./"
"A lunatic who has escaped from a lunatic asylum."
"Courier of Niira Radia, who carries her money to Swiss banks."
"Has formed a mutual admiration club with Barkha Dutt."
Who is this guy thus abused for the last two days by the Hindutva Storm-Troopers, who have practically taken control of the web world and are misusing it for indulging in a campaign of defamation and criminal intimidation of anyone who dares to criticise the Hindutva policies on any issue?
That is me.
The unfortunate me, who was unwise enough to step into the Twitter world without understanding how it works.
I found myself surrounded, trapped and waylaid by a group of Hindutva Storm-Troopers in my own Twitter site.
What was my fault in their eyes?
Ever since the first Malegaon blasts of September 2006, I have been writing on the phenomenon of some Hindus taking to reprisal terrorism .
I remained unconvinced that the first Malegaon blasts were carried out by jihadis and expressed my doubts in my writings.
I defended Rahul Gandhi's remarks on terrorism as revealed by a Wikileaks document while criticising him for talking on the subject in this manner with the American Ambassador.
I wrote against the Bharatiya Janata Party's Flag yatra to the Lal Chowk in Srinagar and called it political opportunism and in my Twitter postings called it an attempt to divert attention from the alleged resort to terrorism by some Hindutva elements.
I expressed my skepticism regarding allegations of large-scale conversions to Christianity.
I described the BJP's anti-corruption campaign as a fraud.
I described some of the Storm-Troopers of the Twitter world as "RSS guys" and asked them to go to Bangalore and persuade Chief Minister Yeddyurappa to resign instead of harassing me in my Twitter site.
I described these "RSS guys" as living in their own make-believe world, cut off from reality.
I cautioned them that I will teach them a lesson---hopefully.
Funny people, these Hindutva guys.
I praised Narendra Modi, as I always do, for his honesty and for his administrative talents.
They hailed me as a Deshbakht and tweeted my remarks on Modi across the web world.
I described Modi's ideology as negative and divisive.
They came down on me like a ton of bricks.
I praised some of the programmes of Barkha Dutt.
They abused me as a man of poor judgement and warned that nobody will read my writings in future.
I was grateful to many visitors to my site for strongly defending me and taking objection to the vicious manner in which the Storm-Troopers were abusing me.
Some of them sent me private E-mail messages advising me to keep my cool, not to let myself be provoked by them and to ignore them.
I noticed that Twitter allows subscribers to take up sites, with assumed names & usernames.
I did so. In my confusion, I was stupid enough to send tweets ---instead of E-mails-- to my close friends informing them about the change---without realising that Twitter flashes any message to all those frequenting the site.
It thus automatically flashed my message about my taking an assumed name (R.Iyengar) and user identity (indepthstudies) to all my followers even though I intended it to be a restricted message for only some close friends and contacts.
The message went to all these Storm-Troopers. Before I could realise what was happening they were in my new Twitter site.
I am in a dilemma. Do I continue with my assumed name and user identity , which are now widely known to the Hindutva Storm-Troopers of the world or do I go back to my real name & original user identity (ramanthink) without bothering about the Storm-Troopers?
Don't worry about them. Do what you want. Block them.Ignore them. So say my well-wishers.
I can block them, but how can I ignore them? How can I refrain from drawing the attention of the Indian public to this pernicious phenomenon of misuse of the Twitter world by the Hindutva Storm-troopers for a campaign of defamation and criminal intimidation against those whom they do not like?
How can I fail in my duty of sounding a wake-up call to alert our people to the emergence of battalions of electronic Hindutva Storm-Troopers to intimidate people they don't like?
How can I refrain from drawing the attention of Shri Mohan Bhagwat, the head of the RSS, and Shri Ram Madhav, the RSS leader who has been my friend since 2003, to the worrisome direction in which the Hindutva movement has been drifting?
The intolerance of critics and the willingness to destroy them and their personality by any means demonstrated by the Storm-Troopers are dangerous not only to you and me, my dear co-citizens, but to the country as a whole.
When the Storm-Troopers and their likes made their appearance in Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, the majority of the Germans and Italians thought the best way of dealing with them was to ignore them and remain silent.
Germany and Italy paid a heavy price for their keeping silent.
Let us not pay a similar heavy price by remaining silent on these Hindutva Storm-Troopers.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )