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A ‘Nationalist’ Told Me I Deserved To Get Raped After I Tweeted About Bhagat Singh

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By Arunima Singh:

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Source: Flickr (modified).

I have recently started using Twitter a lot, and it hasn’t been all that fun.

Like anyone with opinions on Twitter, I tweet mine. They are either related to the country or cricket. When it comes to politics I am mostly critical – of all governments. And now there seems to be a great distinction. As long as you criticise the past governments, past corruption, everything that ‘was’, people on the internet are unaffected; sometimes they even scream in support. But the minute you say a word against the present government, the current political atmosphere of this nation, the shams and the horrid policies, prepare to be bombarded with attacks ranging from ‘Leftist Commie Anti-National’ to ‘Paid Media Presstitute’ and ‘Commie Congi’.

They do not care that many in the Left align to a real ideology, Marxism, and I don’t become leftist till I decide to. If people became communists by criticising governments, countries like America, not Russia would be ‘Leftist’, ‘Commie’, and so on. The whole ‘Paid Presstitutes’ angle is even dumber, if anything. Well, for starters, I would need to be in the Press, right?

Finally, Communists and Congress are not the same things and I for one am neither. But that’s never a matter of concern. You are called these things regardless.

But what I feel the need to point out here is how this name-calling turns into disgusting cyber-bullying and rape threats when the subject of the wrath of these so-called nationalists are women. (I would like to clarify, cyber-bullying and rape threats are not limited to a particular section of people. It has become a tool to shut women up or to demean their arguments. Remember the ‘Make me a Sandwich’ excuse of a joke?)

Coming back to the point, very recently I posted something about Bhagat Singh being a Marxist, and a lot of derogatory remarks followed. A lot of them calling me the names stated above, some questioning my IQ level, yet others saying I have insulted Shaheed by talking about his ideology. Ironic isn’t it? Moving on, this is something most people on the internet are no strangers to. What happened next, though, was absolutely disgusting, to say the least.

After a tweet from this one account which asked me if I was a Communist or not, to which I am not even sure I needed to reply, obviously, this man started calling others misogynist etc. This argument concluded with him saying that I deserve to be molested, raped, so on and so forth.

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It was shocking, and extremely disgusting, to say the least. I couldn’t fathom how the discussion had led someone who, by the way, has ‘Nationalist’ and ‘Satyamev Jayate’ written in his bio to decide to take an argument to such a conclusion. I first retweeted his words, then out of sheer disgust and, honestly, to save myself more of this, blocked the account.

I have since then shared that with Unofficial: Subramaniam Swamy who had shared the same on their page, and a lot of support poured on my Twitter account too. An FIR will be filed soon.

The point remains, how easy, how simple is it to belittle my argument because I’m a woman? Very much so. To make someone feel like a lesser human being in a debate just because she happens to be a woman, to bring in rape threats in arguments so you don’t have to bother with making a logical statement… how very simplistic.

Cyber-bulling is a threat to our liberty, and rape threats to women among other things are as shameful as it gets. In the name of nationalism, somehow people justify everything today. Does your nation only comprise of people who follow your thoughts, word by word, then? I shouldn’t have to prove to anyone what I believe in to be treated respectfully. By the virtue of being human beings, we owe that much to each other.

Sexism is very real. I face that every other day when a man decides to tell me I am not qualified enough to talk about cricket or participate in political discussions simply because I am a woman. It’s hurtful.

But the mother of all ironies is the current ‘radical nationalism’ which knows no bounds! What exactly does ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ mean, if you go on to make rape threats to the mothers and daughters in India in the same breath if they disagree with you?

You must be to comment.
  1. Monistaf

    Ms. Singh – Intellectual comfort is NOT a right. No one has a right NOT to be offended. How can you tell that what you write about is NOT offensive to anyone else? This is the problem with most people, they love to express their opinions on a public forum, but cannot handle the onslaught of emotions that it may evoke.
    And, if it makes you feel any better, the internet is NOT sexist, both men and women are threatened, rebuked, challenged and insulted. If you are so fragile that you cannot handle the response, may be you should reconsider. Also, this is twitter, it is not like you HAVE to read all the responses, you do it by choice, not by force.
    Also, there cannot be any laws to prevent it from happening, because the internet is not bound by national boundaries and there is no single entity that has jurisdiction across the whole world. Also, being scared of threats on twitter is irrational paranoia. Just because you feel threatened, does not mean there is a real threat out there.

  2. Arunima Singh

    It is not ‘intellectual comfort’ to ask that people dont send rape threats.
    As mentioned in the article, people indulge in a lot of name-calling. Not saying its great, but fine. Nothing criminal about it.
    I may offend you, you ca also rebuttal, logically, and if it offends me, its a different matter. How rape threats are okay in this scenario, only you can explain to yourself.

    And finally about whether or not internet is sexist.. I do not think the algorithms google or twitter run are biased, but a lot of people around us most definitely are. And these people, who are sexist, turn up on the internet and refute every other argument with a sexist joke. Or even threats.
    And that is a problem. And its most definitely sexist. Save your mansplaining.

  3. Monistaf

    “mansplaining”?? How would you know I am a man? Assumptions? Sexist perhaps? I post quite a lot on twitter and enjoy the privilege of the ability to express my feelings.
    I too have received plenty of threats, including rape, but unlike you I choose not to let it bother me. You need to grow up and take it “like a man”.

  4. Arunima Singh

    It hardly seems that someone who thinks asking for no rape threats is for ‘intellectual comfort’ could be someone who has to go through that on a normal basis. Still shouldn’t have assumed. You are right. You may or may not be a man but you sure as hell are sexist and ignorant. You don’t seem to know the thin line between being offensive and a criminal offense.
    Rape threats are criminal offense. Speaking up against that is important. Also, thanks for another sexist remark. ‘Take it like a man’. Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.
    I am a woman and I will take it like one. Save the sexism! 🙂

  5. Monistaf

    Thanks for the “Womplaining”. You can save that too, because here is the truth, whether you can accept it or not.

    You can try and control the emotions you evoke amongst the people who disagree with your point of view – Good luck.
    You can try and legislate the emotions you evoke amongst the people who disagree with your point of view – Good luck.
    Threats can be against any law you try and get passed, let us try and see how you can enforce it on a person who makes that threat from west Africa or anywhere else on earth.
    You can stop posting your opinions on a public forum – it will stop the threats, but probably not a good idea, because, unlike you, I want everyone to feel free to express their feelings however they want
    regardless of whether I agree with them, feel threatened by them or not.
    You can “Womplain” all you want on a public forum like this in an attempt to garner public sympathy for your feelings – Good luck.
    You can choose to ignore the “threats” and just respond to rebuttals – a good option.
    You can choose to not read the “threats” – another good option.

    You should stop calling others sexist when you expose your own hidden prejudices about assuming that threats are always made by men.
    “Mansplaining” is also a sexist term. If you don’t like sexists, you should at least pretend not to be one on a public forum.
    I could be “sexist and ignorant” but I am not the one “Womplaining” here.

  6. Arunima Singh

    You obviously have issues reading. I did say it was wrong of me to assume you’re a man.
    But sure, go ahead and add some more sexism and say people should ‘take it like a man’. That makes you the ideal of gender equality.
    People who say rape threats are just a little offensive have a bigger problem. Not a single point except some more sexism to counter the disgusting arguments on sexism. Typical
    I am sorry. Your problem is bigger than this.

  7. Monistaf

    I said “Take it like a man” because, being a woman you are feel so intimidated by an online threat that you want legislation to protect you.
    I don’t see too many men complaining about the threats they receive on the internet. So, may be you should be more like them, because
    being a woman you cannot seem to handle it. Your sense of security is so fragile that it is shattered by an online threat. I am
    not the one with the problem, I did not write the article. Trying to insult someone is a sign of your inability to defend your position with reason
    and logic. Good luck and have a nice life.

  8. Arunima Singh

    Bhai/Behen, tumse na ho payega! 😛

  9. Mohbat Tharani

    Good step. If the person got behind bars, would be an example for others before leaving molesting.

    1. Mohbat Tharani

      before molesting*.

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