Delhi police have lodged an FIR against Twitter user Elvish Yadav on the complaint of activist-actress Swara Bhasker. She had filed a complaint against the social media influencer at the Basant Kunj police station in Delhi on Sunday alleging that he had outraged her modesty, and had circulated some hashtags on social media regarding some movie scene involving her.
According to Delhi police, a criminal case has been registered under IPC Sec 354D (stalking), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and sec 67 of IT Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) against Elvish Yadav based on the complaint by Swara Bhasker.
A criminal case has been registered under IPC Sec 354D (stalking), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and sec 67 of IT Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form): Delhi Police (2/2)
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2021
The matter started on October 1 when Elvish had posted a tweet responding to the actress where he had said, “Excessive m@sturb@tion makes you blind was a myth but swara didi isko sahi prove karri hai. GST word use kiya mene swara?”
Excessive m@sturb@tion makes you blind was a myth but swara didi isko sahi prove karri hai. GST word use kiya mene swara? pic.twitter.com/FJcepNjGtn
— Elvish Yadav (@ElvishYadav) October 1, 2021
He was responding to a tweet by Swara calling him a liar, as he had said that only Hindu temples have to pay taxes in India, whereas the finance ministry had clarified that there is no GST on temple trusts. However, Yadav had retorted by saying he had not used the ‘GST’, and had referred to a scene from the movie Veere Di Wedding staring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Swara Bhaskar.
Although it is true that there is no GST on Hindu temples, this does not mean that Elvish Yadav was wrong in saying that there are taxes on Hindu temples. Because, the matter relates to not GST, but it is income tax and taxes collected by respective state governments in several states.
Several start governments, mostly south Indian states where the temples are under govt control, collect 23.4% tax on the income of the temples, which includes endowment administration tax (14-15%), audit fee (2-4%) and common good fund (4-10%).
In Tamil Nadu, Hindu temples must pay taxes on their total income if their spending is less than 85% of total income in a year. If a temple trust spends less than 85% of total donations in a given year, income tax at rates applicable to individuals is payable on the difference between amounts spent and the amount received. This provision is only for Hindu temples, it is not applicable for religious institutions of other religions. This means that what Elvish said was right, as he didn’t talk about GST.
After the tweet by Elvish Yadav, several media houses and ‘fact checkers’ had fact-checked him, cleverly using the govt clarification that there is no GST on Hindu temples. But they had deliberately omitted other taxes applicable to Hindu temples to prove him wrong.
Later, Elvish Yadav had posted several tweets with the hashtag #SwaraApniUngliSambhal, which had led to many others to post the same on Twitter. Reacting to the same, Swara Bhasker had tweeted that it was cyber sexual harassment against her.
And this my friends is cyber sexual harassment.. Let’s talk about the challenges women face when participating in the public sphere shall we? 😬😬💁🏾♀️💁🏾♀️
Dear @TwitterIndia @Twitter let’s talk about how to make your platform a safer user experience for women.. pic.twitter.com/NxPSfBRuOD
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) October 1, 2021
However, while Swara Bhasker accuses Elvish Yadav of harassing her, she herself have used abusive words for others. On one occasion, she had called a four-year-old child ‘ch**iya’ and ‘kam**a’ on live television.
While she objected to #SwaraApniUngliSambhal by Elvish, she herself had used “Chaddhi on fire” for him, which can be considered equally derogatory.