The cyber army of the right wing, which supports the BJP and the RSS, can’t stand anyone who shows any leniency towards people from the minority communities or the Hindu Dalits. The trolls shower these people with abuses, even if they are well-known public figures.
Now, Please BLOCK me ASAP. I want to enter into the league of Nationalists.
— Anil Ramesh (@CoffeePenCamera) June 26, 2018
NDTV’s Ravish Kumar was showered with abuses over WhatsApp, calls and videos, after a fake quote attributed to him was circulated widely. He said that our leaders should take this kind of poison seriously because one day, it will come to their doorsteps.
Mam @SushmaSwaraj : you should intervene and get to the crux of the issue. The urgency you showed in transferring the officer will make every passport officer to be soft on such scenario. It is indeed a security concern. #IStandWithVikasMishra pic.twitter.com/cXpqN08GGh
— ashish bhardwaj (@ashishrednow) June 26, 2018
— Dr.MahaveerGadhvi (@MahaveerGadhvi) June 25, 2018
Ravish’s warning has come true – and now, the External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has become a target for trolls, when her ministry transferred a regional passport officer for harassing an inter-faith couple. He was transferred to Gorakhpur from Lucknow a day after the alleged incident came to light.
— RPO Lucknow (@rpolucknow) June 21, 2018
A Hindustan Times analysis revealed that 41 BJP parliamentarians, who are either ministers in the Union Cabinet or elected MPs, follow at least one of the accounts which tweeted out a message that Swaraj had liked to showcase trolling. PM Narendra Modi follows eight of those accounts.
The trolls went all out on her – laying accusations, ranging from being compromising on ‘national security’ to doing publicity stunts. The tweets went down to the level of calling her ‘Visa-Matha’ for pandering to minority appeasement politics. Many tweets were abusive, misogynistic and hate-driven in nature, and they show the kind of poison which certain organisations have imprinted into the minds of people for their political mileage.
There is a saying in Malayalam that if you feed milk to a snake, it will likely bite your hand. We can see the same thing happening here – the same kind of bigotry and hatred used to create a cyber army has come to bite their own hands.
However, support for Swaraj came from an unexpected quarter.
You may have struggled to identify the haters on Twitter. Please look at Twitter handle of Honourable Minister @SushmaSwaraj ji. The Likes on her handle is one of the largest list you can find. #SushmaExposesBJP pic.twitter.com/KEmRLw46ag
— Ghanshyam Tiwari (@ghanshyamtiwari) June 24, 2018
The Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker and journalist Barkha Dutta, former victims of cyber-trolling, have also extended their support.
It is SICK and SHAMEFUL the kind of vicious trolling @SushmaSwaraj ji is being subjected to because she & her ministry did their job conscientiously & as per the law of our land. Sad that the anti minority hate by bhakts in our public discourse now doesnt spare their own leaders pic.twitter.com/h4HfFkgr9m
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) June 24, 2018
“You cant keep snakes in your backyard & expect them only to bite your neighbors”: My piece in @washingtonpost on the Right Wing’s abuse of Sushma Swaraj. Whatever be truth of the passport case; how does it explain the abuse or silence of her colleagues? https://t.co/TMN8qs7bBX
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 26, 2018