Teacher gets away with calling Kamal Nath dacoit

Teacher gets away with calling Kamal Nath dacoit

Kamal Nath. PTI file photo

Change in the government in Madhya Pradesh is manifesting itself in the attitude of the chief minister towards personal criticism by a common man.

In a sharp contrast to his BJP predecessor, Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Saturday magnanimously forgave a school headmaster who called him a dacoit. In the previous Shivraj Singh regime, criticism of the chief minister on social media had landed several people in jail.  

Primary school headmaster Mukesh Tiwari from Jabalpur made an objectionable comment against the chief minister that went viral in social media on Friday. When Congressmen drew the Jabalpur collector Chhabi Bhardwaj’s attention to the video clip, she immediately suspended the teacher for violating civil service conduct rule.

However, when Kamal Nath came to know about the collector’s punitive action, he not only ordered to revoke the suspension but said his government did not believe in vendetta politics.

In a message to the state’s people, the chief minister said his government fully honours freedom of expression of every citizen.

“I think the teacher must have toiled hard to get this post and his family must be dependent on him. Suspension would only compound the teacher’s troubles.”

The chief minister advised Mukesh Tiwari to focus on the task of nation-building as a teacher and mind his duties.

Expressing gratitude to the chief minister for revocation of his suspension, Mukesh Tiwari said he had expected such magnanimity from him.

During the previous BJP government, an RTI activist Abhishek Mishra had landed in jail in November 2016 for criticising the former chief minister on social media.

He was first detained and then arrested by the cyber cell of the Bhopal police.

The police said that Mishra was involved in posting “offensive comments and posts against the chief minister and other important dignitaries”. The Police registered an FIR under section 469 of the IPC and 66C of the Information Technology Act, 2000 against him at the cyber crime cell.

A youth had been arrested from Balaghat in the run-up to the recent Assembly elections for reportedly threatening the former chief minister on Facebook.

An IAS officer was penalised for praising Jawaharlal Nehru on his Facebook wall in May 2016. Ajay Singh Gangwar, who was posted as Barwani district collector, was shifted to the state secretariat after his post went viral.