Amaresh Misra, whose profile describes him as "Author, Historian, Film writer and Politician" completely went bonkers on Twitter. Raging against the right wing in the wake of Modi's speech at India Today's Conclave 13, he began with bitter criticism over the Gujarat riots that rapidly devolved into outright abuse, rape threats and death threats. Possibly slander as well, I'm no legal expert.
- Repeated abuse, rape threats and death threats to @shilpitewari
- Generic threats to a variety of people
- Death threats to people
- Threats to rape wife/sister/publicly/etc
- Threat to shoot Narendra Modi dead.
And a bonus. He threatened to use IB to get Tajinder Bagga beaten up
— Amaresh Misra (@AmareshMisra) March 16, 2013
He seemed unhinged, but two identities he clearly knew and was specifically and repeatedly threatening were Shilpi and Modi. So, if he lives in the same town, security for her might be a good idea?
There were doubts that this could be a fake handle, but a quick look at his following indicated the usual Congress handles as well as some journalists following him. Download saved copy of his partial following list.
Additionally, other posts by his name on the internet seemed to follow this familiar pattern - wanting people dead, extreme hatred against Hindutva, conspiracy theories and pro-Muslim stand (Note: the last, pro-Muslim is not mentioned as something wrong, but as a trait that persists across all the posts). It is highly unlikely that someone was posting under his identity since 2008 and no one knew about it. This does not look to be a fake account.
A post by him in the Milligazette in 2010 alleges a IB-CIA-MOSSAD-RSS conspiracy behind 26/11 - which in itself is not a problem, as people can have their own views and suspicions - even if they seem paranoia, but the pattern of hatred against Hindutva and suspicion of IB (earlier tweets on timeline) is consistent and not something that came up tonight. The byline describes him as "chief of the Anti-Communal Front of the All India Congress Committee (AICC)"
A comment from 2008 describes a similar conspiracy and says Pragya Singh, Advani and the "entire brand" should be shot.
And it isn't only the Hindutva guys with a problem. Teesta Setalvad writes a public letter in Communalism Watch, to the Rashtriya Sahara Newspaper on 11th December 2008 complaining of this Amaresh Misra's bizarre and abusive behavior. I quote:
The Citizens for Justice and Peace had hosted a meeting at the St. Xaviers College Hall to condemn the horrific terror attacks and to outline an action plan for youth and citizens. All of us were gathered there, scattered in the quadrangle and the hall. Swami Agnivesh and Mufti Fuzail Ul Rahman Hilal Usmani, our special guests, were also present having been escorted by my husband and colleague, Javed Anand. Suddenly Mr Amaresh Mishra arrived on the scene and first started using abusive language against M Rajdeep Sardesai, editor in chief of CNN-IBN at which point his mother Smt Nandini Sardesai also intervened. He then started haranguing Swami Agnivesh our guest, "warning" him on how he should speak related to the recent terror attacks in Mumbai! He soon turned to abusing both Mr Javed Anand and journalist Sajjid Rashid in offensive and unprintable language. In fact our daughter hurried to me at this point thinking that her father, Javed Anand was about to be assaulted. One of the over dozen witnesses, Shahbaz Khan intervened at this point and escorted Mr Amaresh Mishra out of the college.
Whatever his problem is, he is clearly unhinged.
Rape threats and death threats are simply not acceptable. Particularly for people responsible for leading public opinion. Additionally, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had expressed resolve to clean the party of politicians who abuse women among its ranks. Well, the horde of people he abused also includes a dedicated youth congress leader by the handle @priyankac19 who has often defended the party's interest publicly with good grace. That ought to get rid of him on an existing and known issue too, right?
I hope both the Congress and Times of India have the good sense to ditch him in the larger public interest as well as their own credibility.
PS: I have absolutely no doubt that Amaresh Misra is a UP Congress politician.