BENGALURU: Attacks on online platforms against writer and rationalist K S Bhagwan have intensified following an announcement that he is one among the five chosen for the Karnataka Sahitya Academy’s annual Honorary Awards for Lifetime Achievement.
While an online petition demanding the state government reconsider giving the award to Bhagwan garnered huge support, messages with the writer’s mobile number and instructions to hound him were widely circulated on messaging apps like WhatsApp. There were also instructions to call and text Bhagwan’s number relentlessly by as many people as possible.
Bhagwan had made some comments against Hindu gods during an event in Bengaluru recently.
One of the messages read: “We should not allow him to sleep at night. If he changes his number, we should get his number and repeat the process.”
Another message, allegedly started by a group called Nilume, had directions to trend the hashtag #TeachALessonToKarGovt. However, the hashtag succeeded in attracting only three tweets in three days.
“Anti-social elements like Bhagwan are not qualified for the Sahitya Academy,” the message read. Instructions in the group included writing letters to editors of newspapers, the academy and governor, reiterating the demand to withdraw the award for Bhagwan.