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Sushma Swaraj continues to receive hateful, sexist abuse on Twitter, but the question we should also be asking is: Why are no party colleagues rushing to her support?
It has almost been a week since External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was trolled on twitter, following her decision to transfer a Lucknow Passport Office official over his handling of an inter-faith couple’s application for passport renewal.
Swaraj retweeted around 50 tweets that were directed at her in relation to this incident containing allegations of ‘Muslim appeasement’. These tweets contained ugly abuse and threats, many with a communal tinge. After a few days of such trolling, the Minister created an online poll asking her followers if they believe such trolling was justified. While 57% answered no, a whopping 43% (that comes to 53000 people) said yes, approving Sushma Swaraj’s being trolled on twitter. Take a moment to digest that.
The fact that so many people approved of the abusive, sexist tweets directed at the Minister is frightening – it points to the dangerous trend of abusive online behaviour in India that has grown over the past few years.
This is not however the only noteworthy thing in this incident. Noteworthy is also the silence of Swaraj’s own party members, including her Cabinet colleagues and party president Amit Shah. The Minister’s husband Swaraj Kaushal supported her, tearing apart a troll who targeted her with an abusive tweet. The Congress party came out in support of the Minister, saying that violence, disrespect and abuse can never be justified or supported. PDP Chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister until recently, Mehbooba Mufti also voiced her concern about this rising trend.
However, it must be noted that this monster is no new face to the BJP for it is the party’s own creation – and just like the famous monster Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel, this monster also has come around to attack it’s own creators. In journalist Swati Chaturvedi’s book, I Am a Troll : Inside the secret digital army of the BJP almost entirely devoted to the testimony of Sadhavi Khosla, a former volunteer with the BJP, she exposed the organised trolling carried out by the BJP on various social media platforms by employing a bunch of men and women thriving on misogyny, communal hatred and bigotry.
Social media has been used by the party time and again to sway public opinion against their opponents with inflammatory arguments and remarks including sexual and religious trolling of the targets. The targets have included people from opposition parties, journalists and even actors who chose to voice an opinion that was not in accordance with the beliefs of the party or their ideas on nationalism. And just like any good parent , BJP has till date denied all allegations with leader Narendra Modi maintaining a stoic silence in this regard.
In fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been also accused of following people on Twitter who have been caught making hateful remarks and violent threats directed at various people. But it seems like the party has fallen into it’s own trap. The BJP no longer has a rein on its unruly online army who have now come up to attack them too. As a result, the party has fallen silent in the face of this uprising.
It is safe to assume then that if not checked now, this monster will soon start causing irreversible damage.
Image via External Affairs Ministry website.
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B.A English Honours at Jadavpur University. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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What I loved was how there is so much in the movie of the SRK we have known, and also a totally new star. The gestures, the smile, the wit and the charisma are all too familiar, but you also witness a rawness, an edginess.
When a movie that got the entire nation in a twist – for the right and wrong reasons – hits the theatres, there is bound to be noise. From ‘I am going to watch it – first day first show’ to ‘Boycott the movie and make it a flop’, social media has been a furore of posts.
Let me get one thing straight here – I did not watch Pathaan to make a statement or to simply rebel as people would put it. I went to watch it for the sheer pleasure of witnessing my favourite superstar in all his glory being what he is best at being – his magnificent self. Because when it comes to screen presence, he burns it, melts it and then resurrects it as well like no other. Because when it comes to style and passion, he owns it like a boss. Because SRK is, in a way, my last connecting point to the girl that I once was. Though I have evolved into so many more things over the years, I don’t think I am ready to let go of that girl fully yet.
There is no elephant in the room really here because it’s a fact that Bollywood has a lot of cleaning up to do. Calling out on all the problematic aspects of the industry is important and in doing that, maintaining objectivity is also equally imperative. I went for Pathaan for entertainment and got more than I had hoped for. It is a clever, slick, witty, brilliantly packaged action movie that delivers what it promises to. Logic definitely goes flying out of the window at times and some scenes will make you go ‘kuch bhi’ , but the screenplay clearly reminds you that you knew all along what you were in for. The action sequences are lavish and someone like me who is not exactly a fan of this genre was also mind blown.
Recent footage of her coming out of an airport had comments preaching karma and its cruel ways, that Samantha "deserved her illness" because she filed for divorce.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu fell from being the public’s sweetheart to a villain overnight because she filed for divorce. The actress was struck with myositis post divorce, much to the joy of certain groups (read sexist) in our society.
A troll responded to Samantha’s tweet, “Women Rising!!” by adding to it “just to fall”. She replied, “Getting back up makes it all the more sweeter, my friend.”
Here’s another insensitive tweet by BuzZ Basket showing fake concern for her autoimmune disease. “Feeling sad for Samantha, she lost all her charm and glow. When everyone thought she came out of divorce strongly and her professional life was seeing heights, myositis hit her badly, making her weak again.” Samantha responded, “I pray you never have to go through months of treatment and medication like I did. And here’s some love from me to add to your glow.”
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