If one wonders why Twitter’s policies seem to discriminate against Hindus, one only needs to look as far as the views of its employees.
Payal Kamat, who works for “Public Policy and Government” for Twitter India, has previously called Hindu gods eve teasers and chauvinists. In a series of tweets uncovered on Twitter, Payal Kamat had called Lord Krishna an eve teaser. “Janmashtami and all is fine! But didn’t Krishna promote eve teasing? Ched chaad as we call it, violating a woman’s space!” she’d tweeted on 28th August 2013.
After this particular hate tweet was uncovered, Payal Kamat has deleted it, yet the thread remains. In the thread, she goes on to justify as to why she thought Lord Krishna was an eve teaser. “Err, stealing their clothes while they take a dip is flirting? What’s eve teasing to you by the way?,” she’d replied to a Twitter user.
Previously, she’d said that Lord Krishna validates the “stalking, teasing of women.”
But Payal Kamat’s Hindu hate didn’t end with Lord Krishna. In another tweet, she’d called Lord Ram a “gender chauvinist”. “As a practitioner of Hinduism, there are a couple of things I am not proud of, one of which is Ram. Sorry, but he was a gender chauvinist!,” she’d tweeted on 3rd October 2014. Kamat has since deleted the tweet after it went viral.
But Kamat had not only trained her guns at Hindu gods — she’s also taken on Hindu festivals. In a tweet, Payal Kamat had called Karva Chauth “highly patriarchal”. “Karvachauth embodies all that’s wrong with Hindu matrimonial structuration. Highly patriarchal in its popular narrative!” she’d tweeted on 22nd October 2013.
Now if India were a country that had absolute free speech, these tweets could be seen as an individual simply exercising their rights. But India doesn’t allow free speech, and articles like 295 A in the Indian penal code don’t allow for individuals to insult a religion or religious beliefs. Worse, India’s English speaking elite seem to single out Hinduism for their criticism of religious figures — it’s unthinkable that Payal Kamat would’ve said the same things about Mohammad or Jesus as she comfortably as she did about Lord Rama and Krishna.
While Payal Kamat is now deleting her tweets to cover up for her anti-Hindu hate speech, her tweets bring into sharp focus the biases of Twitter India. India’s Hindus have long maintained that Twitter has discriminated against them with its policies, and there now evidence of a high-ranking Twitter employee hurling the most vile invective against Hindu Gods. In India, companies have terminated employees for similar violations — Hindustan Times had fired employee Srishti Jaswal for calling Lord Krishna a “womanizer” — and it remains to be seen how Twitter India acts against Payal Kamat for her anti-Hindu bigotry on its own platform.