For a better period of the Modi Government’s tenure, Sushma Swaraj has been the favourite Minister of the masses, especially for her prompt actions and responses against complaints made on social media. However now the same people who used to praise Sushma Swaraj till a few days back, now seem to be angry on her and her department; The Ministry of External Affairs.
The reason behind sudden public backlash against Sushma Swaraj is the rustic action taken against Lucknow based regional passport officer Vikas Mishra, based on unfounded allegations made by Mohammad Anas Siddiqui and his wife Tanvi Seth.
The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier transferred the passport officer Vikas Mishra within 24 hours without any investigation after the couple made certain allegations of harassment against him on Twitter. A day later, new passports were issued to the couple. The move didn’t go down well with a large number of people who started protesting against the actions using the hashtags #IStandWithVikasMishra and #ISupportVikasMishra.
Meanwhile amidst all the criticism and online trolling, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tried to clarify her position about the entire situation. She said that while abroad she was unaware of what was happening back in India.
I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 24, 2018
Though Twitterati didn’t appear to be buying into her clarification. Many raised doubts on how it is possible that Sushma Swaraj was unaware of such a big controversy surrounding her ministry.
Woh sab theek hain, but I would req PM @narendramodi not to send EAM mam anywhere w/o basic comm facilities. From her tweet its clear she & her entourage were w/o even a ph, forget net connection& TV
Otherwise mam would hve known what’s happening, MSM tweeps were full of it, no?
— Debjani🇮🇳 (@devyanidilli) June 24, 2018
Where does the buck stop ma’am? Why was the passport officer transferred instantly, without a proper enquiry? Why was the couple given new passports instantly, even though there was discrepancy in the names? Who is responsible?
— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) June 24, 2018
Mam you work well appreciably but your ministry has done a blunder,
— 🇮🇳 Vikash Sharma 🇮🇳 (@Vikash22900945) June 24, 2018
Since you are back now. I take liberty to make few points:
1. Why #VikashMishra transferred without inquiry?
2. Is every 🇮🇳 citizen gets passport in the same way given in this case
3. Who ordered to issue passport within hours?
4. I may be defamed for this tweet pic.twitter.com/PXB6fK3mHr
— Ashok “अशोक” (@NaharAshok) June 24, 2018
With due respect mam…Sometimes we make a mistake trying to be great…but Greater is the person who accepts and undo the wrong…🙏
Pls bring justice to VIkas Mishra instead of this weak defense.. pic.twitter.com/t4RLnguPCK
— Ritu (सत्यसाधक) #EqualRightsForHindus (@RituRathaur) June 24, 2018
Please now you can rectify the mistake and cancel the passport and bring back Mr. Mishra , he was doing his work and without investigation how can your ministry through out him
— Hindu Anoop Aswal (@AnoopAswal007) June 24, 2018
U hav done really goood job in past, doing currently & hope u will keep it up.
But anything goes wrong then it shd be u to take responsibility & clear the mess.
Who ordered to transfer that ofcr shd be suspended first (if find guilty), ur own ppl advice but rest s ur decision
— Monu (@manish_mkss) June 24, 2018
A few days back, in a series of tweets the couple alleged that Passport officer Vikas Mishra harassed them for being an inter-religious couple. Tanvi Seth, further said that she was being harassed as the officer questioned her marital status and spoke to her rudely. She also claimed that others in the passport office did not even react to his “rude demeanour.” Meanwhile, her husband stated that he was told to change his religion and take “pheras.”
However Mishra had a completely different angle to the incident. ‘I asked Tanvi Seth to get the name ‘Shadia Anas’ endorsed as it was mentioned on her Nikahnama (marriage contract), but she refused. We have to do thorough checks to ensure no person is changing their name to obtain a passport,’ the official, Vikas Mishra.