Twitter was abuzz over the weekend about a Direct Message (DM) by IAS officer Lokesh Jangid to another twitter user (a woman), who decided to make the same public without any discussion offline.
The direct message sent by the IAS officer on the social media platform read as below:
The lady in question, who has now restricted the tweet and comments on it, decided to post the same publicly, disclosing the name of the officer. While posting the message, she wrote,
Yeh sab kya hai? (What is all this?)
Twitter users who initially started attacking and name calling the IAS officer, soon got divided, where another set of netizens found nothing wrong with the message.
We reached out to Lokesh to understand his side of the story and what does he have to say about this whole controversy.
MDO: I saw your twitter handle where you said you were going to be away for a while. How did this controversy start?
MDO: Did she respond to your message privately, questioned you why you wanted to meet or why were you sending her the message randomly?
Lokesh Jangid: I did not receive any response from her end. Neither did I text her a single word after this first communication from my end. That is why it came as an absolute shocker to me when she shared the screenshot. Had she asked me the reason, I would have elaborated the same.
MDO: What was your reaction when you saw her making your DM public? Why didn’t you confront her publicly since twitter users were already being harsh on you with one sided message?
Lokesh Jangid: I didn’t confront her publicly because 1) As I said, I’m on a sabbatical from posting any tweets till Oct 15. I wanted to keep my word and not post anything until Oct 15 despite such provocations. 2) I have better things to do than waste my energy on confronting it.
MDO: Twitter has been divided. While many have labelled you as someone misusing your power, quite a few of them have also come forward stating that there was nothing wrong in the DM to be made public. Do you think, the DM was posted because you hold a position of power and twitter verification? You are also accused of misusing your IAS tag while reaching out to the woman. Your comments?
Lokesh Jangid: No ways, DM had nothing to do with position of power. She is not working in my office. She is not having any official work with my office. So there’s absolutely no question of me using my position as a leverage over here. By no stretch of imagination, can it be linked to my position. And those who are doing it are being biased against me.
MDO: Some netizens have given this DM an angle of seeking a random date or using Twitter as Tinder……What is your reply for them?
Lokesh Jangid: Well, there’s nothing like random date. There are things that are platonic, and at times not even connected with gender. Any which way, I totally fail to comprehend how did she find it offensive or for that matter having even a trace of ulterior motive. Had I persisted after her denial, or had I DM’d her again, after couple of days or a week or so, she could have reported the matter to Twitter/ blocked me, and then might have gone public.
MDO: What do you think this episode has done to your image as an IAS officer?
Lokesh Jangid: Firstly, by doing so, it was highly immature on her part. With regards to my image, I think at the end of the day, one is answerable only to one’s conscience. I don’t think I’ve done even an iota of wrong, either legally or morally. So I would rather ignore the trolls who are passing judgements without knowing the nitty gritty details of the matter.
I feel one should also clearly segregate the personal and professional lives of civil servants and other public figures.
Here are some of the reactions on this matter on twitter:
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