@epanchjanya is the official Twitter handle of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mouthpiece Panchjanya. It enjoys a dedicated and huge following of 331.6K Twitter, including several top shots of politics and media. As expected, @epanchjanya’s activities are targeting Muslims, Christians, Congress politicians, especially Gandhi family, Pakistan and Bangladeshis living in India. Despite being minute wise representative of RSS’ coveted weekly, @epanchjanya puts no premium on veracity of facts, truths and it brazenly peddles hatred, slander, lies and targeted barbs.
The handle shows itself as the official Twitter organ of Panchjanya weekly magazine. It also mentions its website as panchjanya.org and @HiteshShankar as its editor.
The handle spews anti-Muslim toxicity on hourly basis. Any random visit to its timeline will show that it tweets something or the other about Muslims in the garb of a taunt, half-truths, semi-validated information or plain lies. Below is the Twitter timeline of the account where it can be seen that the account has done moderate number of tweets nearly every day, except on 15th Jan 2023, on the occasion of Panchjanya event and Feb 9th 2023, when the account has quoted PM Modi speech in Rajya Sabha. The handle has done in total of 79 tweets on each day.
On March 16, this correspondent spotted the latest tweets on the handle in the afternoon. It said: “Four Muslim youths abducted a Hindu girl after beating her mother to almost death. They all raped her. The girl was critical and was battling for her life in a hospital. The incident happened in Badaun in UP.” No link to any report was given. A video was attached with the tweet. In the video, a young man with his face covered uttered what was written in the tweet. He even named all the accused.
The DFRAC tried to verify this news report from various sources, yet it could not be ascertained till writing of this article that any such incident happened in Badaun, which is not very far from Delhi. No mainstream media had covered this report till March 16 evening.
Around 627 people re-tweeted this @epanchjanya tweet.
Another tweet shared on the same day was about PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti offering milk to a shivling in a Shiv temple in Jammu and Kashmir. The @epanchjanya captioned this: “Mehbooba in the shelter of Mahadev”, hinting that the Kashmiri leader had to seek refuge in a Hindu deity to prosper in politics. Later, the handle further elaborated this tweet by adding a comment of an obscure Muslim cleric denouncing Mehbooba’s act being against the spirit of Islam. This tweet was retweeted 812 times.
One more toxic note made from the handle on Thursday was about NIA filing its first charge sheet in the arrest of some Muslim youth for being members of banned outfit Popular Front of India. It captioned the tweet: “Accused Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Sadiq were organising camps for terror training. They were collecting money to make India an Islamic country…” The filing of a charge sheet doesn’t make anyone convicted of any charge. The accused faces the trial and even after being convicted in a lower court, he can approach higher courts against the conviction. But, the @epanchjanya has declared the arrested youth as terrorists out to transform India into an Islamic country even before their trial in the court.
Unfortunately, this hate tweet was shared by 1,710 people till Thursday evening.
Love jihad has been a fixation with Hindu right wing in India. Almost all such organisations keep raising this issue at the slightest hint of romantic involvement of a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl. The @epanchjanya on Thursday shared a tweet with the caption: “Mohammed Wasim Akram became Vasu. He seduced the college topper Hindu girl from Surat, and then raped her at the pretext of marrying her…”
It doesn’t give any link to any news report detailing the incident. But this toxic tweet was retweeted by 2,321 Twitter users by Thursday evening.
Two tweets on March 15 made from the handle summarise the degree of toxicity that it harbours for Muslims. The first tweet informs about the bungling in spending funds meant for madrasas in Azamgarh. It says that only 219 out of 313 seminaries investigated were found to actually exist. In another tweet, it quotes a Karnataka BJP worker: “We will remove loudspeakers from mosques and raze down those that have been built over destroyed temples.”
A sample of a few tweets mentioned above are just the modicum of example exposing the intent of @epanjanya. A record of the number of tweets given in graphs show how frequently the handle tweets its hate-filled propaganda to put Muslims, Christians, etc, in villainous frames, and show RSS and its affiliates as true harbinger of Hinduism.
Panchjanya: Platform of turning hate into Hindu common sense
Panchjanya is a weekly magazine published by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Hindi. It was launched by RSS pracharak Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1948 in Lucknow. Since RSS is the parent organisation of ruling BJP, the Panchjanya may be termed as carrying the voice of the ruling party as well. Since its inception, the long feature articles and cover stories in the magazine have targeted Muslims and Christians in the country. Most recently, the magazine published an article that defended the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri and said that the slaughter of cows is punishable by death as sanctified in the Vedas. The publication of this article had created much uproar in the country, but it was not pulled back from the magazine. In recent years, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has made many remarks that he wishes to see the bridge of understanding between Hindus and Muslims is built and stays functioning. However, the daily barrage of hateful tweets from Panchjanya’s official Twitter handles is working just opposite of these noble intentions. The @epanchjanya is in fact trying to turn hate for Muslims as a Hindu common sense. It is a grave threat and demands proper action from Twitter as its guidelines on not allowing hate and toxicity be peddled are being violated by the @epanchjanya every few minutes daily.