Paresh Rawal stirs a storm with his ‘Arundhati Roy’ tweet

Bollywood actor-turned BJP parliamentarian Paresh Rawal sparked a Twitter storm on Monday after her tweeted that author Arundhati Roy should be tied to an army jeep. His tweet suggested that the award-winning writer be dealt in the manner as the Kashmiri local who was tied to a jeep as a human shield to thwart the attempts of stone pelters, during the Srinagar by-polls in April.

“Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy! [sic],” Paresh Rawal wrote on the micro-blogging site of Sunday night, which went viral evoking reactions from social media users, including some well-known names.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh condemned the veteran actor and tweeted, “@SirPareshRawal Why not the person who stitched PDP/BJP alliance?”

Some users saw the actor’s tweet as an attempt to incite violence, as a twitterati reacted, “With violent views against women like that, I feel sorry for the women in his life.”

While the BJP distanced itself from the incident, television actress and Union minister Smriti Irani said, “Nowhere will we, in any way, support any violent message by anybody, against any individual of the country.”

Columnist Rana Ayyub made a scarcastic tweet saying, “And you want to call him just a fringe? He's a high profile actor, an MP from Gujarat, and a Padma Shri. God bless his constituency.”

Author and comedian Sorabh Pant tweeted, "Btw I don't agree with a lot that Arundhati says or does. But disagree more with violence. Your physical threats lose you all moral debates.”

One user supporting Paresh Rawal’s tweet suggested that in the absence of Arundhati Roy, journalist Sagarika Ghosh can be made a ‘human sheild’. The actor replied tweeting, “We have a wide variety of choices!” to which, the senior journalist reacted, “Wonderful sir, too good. You really are a model parliamentarian.”

However, there were others who came in support of Paresh Rawal and prominent among them include filmmaker Ashoke Pandit and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

Arundhati Roy is known for her controversial views on many issues including Kashmir and naxalism. The actor’s tweet comes in the wake of Roy’s recent visit to Srinagar where she reportedly called “Indian aggression” in Kashmir “shameful”.

A news article had quoted Roy as saying, “India cannot achieve its objective in the occupied Valley even if its army deployment raises from 7 lakh to 70 lakh.” She went on to say, “Kashmiris have remained committed with their anti-India sentiments for many years.”

The author-cum-social activist received the Man Booker Prize in 1997 for her work ‘The God of Small Things’. Her second novel ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ will be released in June, almost two decades after her first one.