SP leader draws flak for calling Manipur activist 'foreign tourist'
Licypriya Kangujam, an 11-year-old environmental activist from Manipur, has condemned a tweet by a Samajwadi Party politician that referred to her as a "foreign tourist." The activist recently published a photo of herself taken near the Taj Mahal in order to raise awareness about plastic pollution. She was holding a poster that read, "Behind the beauty of the Taj Mahal is plastic pollution."
Along with a photo of herself holding a placard, Kangujam tweeted, "Behind the beauty of Taj Mahal! Thanks, humans." "You might be witnessing this scene when you visit the Taj Mahal. You may say it's very polluted but your 1 piece of polythene bag, one simple plastics water bottle led to this situation when millions of people visit every year (sic)," read her tweet.
Behind the beauty of Taj Mahal! Thanks humans. 😞— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) June 21, 2022
You might be witnessing this scene when you visit the Taj Mahal. You may say it’s very polluted but your 1 piece of polythene bag, one simple plastics water bottle led this situation when millions of people visit every year. pic.twitter.com/KriVT1ewvk
The activist's tweet prompted outrage, with many criticizing UP's Yogi Adityanath government. Meanwhile, Manish Jagan Agrawal, a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, dubbed her a foreign tourist in a tweet in Hindi. "Foreign tourists are also forced to show the mirror to the BJP-ruled Yogi government. Yamuna ji is full of filth under the BJP government," he tweeted in response to the post by Kangujam.
Following the response by the SP leader, the 11-year-old activist called out the error and tweeted, "Hello Sir, I'm a proud Indian. I'm not a foreigner." Later, Agrawal had to remove the tweet but he blamed a news channel for the misunderstanding. "This picture was shown by a news channel yesterday, in which this daughter of India was described as a foreigner," he said.
"This daughter of India's save environment campaign is appreciated and we all are with this daughter of India," the SP leader said of the kid activist's efforts. "Whatever confusion happened was because of the news channel," he added. Agrawal's gaffe, however, prompted criticism on social media, with several people pointing out that he should have double-checked facts before posting on social media.
In response to Kangujam's message, numerous Twitter users offered assistance in resolving the plastic pollution problem surrounding the Taj Mahal. "Dear Daughter, please call me when you plan to collect the litter which you have shown in the picture. I'll be there to help you and we together will make India clean," wrote one of the users.