Nehru’s online warriors
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On Thursday, a couple of hours after the Republic Day Parade had ended, the launch of a new website called Nehruvian.com was announced on Twitter, to “discuss Nehruvian ideology,” as one tweet stated.
The website, which features articles about the Non-Aligned Movement and “Nehruvian socialism,” is the brain-child of six youngsters, some students, some professionals, with one based out of the UK. “There is so much of mis-information about Nehru doing the rounds. It’s been a concentrated effort for years now; I can remember posts dating back to 2005-6. I had been thinking of a project that would clear the lies about Nehru and that is how Nehruvian came up,” says 29-year-old Yawer Yousuf, one of the administrators of the site. Interestingly, the six haven’t met in person but know each other through Twitter, where Yousuf opened an account in the same name as the website last year. “We had been toying with the idea of the website since then and finally were ready with it. There couldn’t have been a better day than Republic Day to launch the website,” says Yousuf. In the coming days and weeks, the team hopes to expand the website into a platform for engagement and debate about current affairs and Nehruvian principles. “People believe any falsehood if it confirms their bias no matter how obscure the source is. We welcome disagreement and criticism also but it has to be rooted in facts. We want a vibrant debate,” says Yousuf.
There has been speculation whether Nehruvian.com is supported by the Congress party and even though Pawan Khera, a member of the party, has tweeted out the link and applauded its intent, Yousuf says the site has no political patronage. “When I started the Nehruvian Twitter account, people started following, including a few official Congress accounts but the endeavour is ours alone,” he says.