L Rajagopal Touted as ‘Andhra’s Bhagat Singh’ by Telugu Media after Pepper Spray Act?

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 14, 2014 7:29 PM EST

While the pepper spray incident in Parliament on Thursday - a day widely referred to as one of most shameful days in Indian democracy - was almost unanimously condemned by politicians, social thinkers and public in and outside the country, the local media in Andhra Pradesh are understood to have been praising MP L Rajagopal for the act.

Reuters
K Narayana Rao, an Indian parliamentarian, is rushed to a hospital after he collapsed inside the parliament in New Delhi February 13, 2014.

In a tweet that has now gone viral, Bhupendra Chaubey - a popular journalist from CNN IBN - posted a screenshot from a Telugu news channel, where Rajagopal's photo was shown, along with a picture of the legendary Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

"See how L Rajagopal #PepperSpray is being projected in Andhra media. He is being called Andhra Bhagat Singh," Chaubey tweeted, along with the screenshot.

Also Read: PepperSpray Tweets Storm Micro-Blogging Site: Top 10 Jokes You Should Not Miss

But as soon as the tweet went viral, a Twitter user attacked the journalist saying that the image had nothing to do with the pepper spray incident.

The user, with a profile name Vijay, responded to the post, saying: "Coz you do not know reading Telugu means, u can say anything, that is an ad from his supporter in news channel".

The tweet, however, invited another round of attacks by the users. But this time, it was seemingly in support of the MP as most of them did not want the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

"Exactly ground realities are so different. It's only the congress high command to blame for this situation," said a user called Pinky.

Meanwhile some others felt there was nothing wrong in comparing Rajagopal with the freedom fighter. "Hailing from Mr. Rajagopal's neighboring constituency, I don't see anything absurd in that comparison," Venugopal Kolli said, adding: "We, Seemandhra people, are set to lose most of the employment opportunities due to this division."

The Parliament, on Thursday, had witnessed unprecedented chaos over the Telangana Bill, with Congress MP Rajagopal using pepper spray, while another MP flung a computer, and another one tried to pull out a microphone.

The incident sparked an overwhelming amount of public outrage with many media outlets claiming that the day will go down in history as one of most shameful days in India's history. A spate of tweets surfaced on the micro-blogging site, with the hash tag #PepperSpray, wherein people collectively condemned the incident.

The hashtag topped in all India trends on Thursday, and was also the most trending subject throughout Friday. Users criticised the incident through outraged - and sometimes funny - tweets.

A user with the Twitter handle @Babu_Bhaiyaa said: "Dear China and Pakistan, U don't need to launch Nuclear weapons to create chaos & havoc in Indian Media & Parliament. A #PepperSpray is enough."

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(Photo: Reuters / )
K Narayana Rao, an Indian parliamentarian, is rushed to a hospital after he collapsed inside the parliament in New Delhi February 13, 2014.
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