KOZHIKODE: The Facebook spat between award-winning writer K.R. Meera and young Congress legislator V.T. Balram over Periya twin murders has deeply divided netizens. And curiously, Kozhikoide District Congress Committee (DCC) president T. Siddique, who supported the writer, has also been caught in the online duel.
It all started with Mr Balram, in a post critical of cultural figures for their double standards in political murders, wondering if Ms Meera had said anything about the latest murders.
Ms Meera, who had already written a Facebook post taking political parties to task for the murders after narrating the history of killings in Kannur, hit back in a post, saying, "if one day they (writers) leave their daily jobs to write full time, none of the political parties would be there to support them but only the readers."
There are political leaders who abuse or set their followers to abuse the writers who would not toe their lines, she said. "The writers will be left with only two options: either to shut their mouth or tell the abusers and their masters to mind their business," she wrote.
Her reference to Mr Balram as 'Bala-rama' suggestive of her assessment of his stature as a political leader infuriated the two-time legislator who, in turn, advised his followers to be careful in spelling her name while reacting to her barb. His adversaries allege it was an open call for cyber bullying. CPM leader M.B. Rajesh, MP, who joined the cyber war said there is none in the Congress to advise Mr Balram whom he accused of urging his supporters to target Ms Meera. "Mr Balram has been abusing people in cyberspace whoever he comes across," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Siddique also came out against the silence of cultural leaders and reposted Ms Meera's comments against political killings.
Mr Siddique who supported his party colleague's criticism of the silence, however, pointed out that Ms Meera had indeed criticized politically-motivated killings. But the comments attracted sharp comments by the supporters of Mr Balram who alleged that Mr Siddique was playing to the left gallery.