What Are Trads? On Sunday, the Delhi Police for the first time used the word Trad as a reference to a group online. It was after the arrest of a 26-year-old accused, Anumkareshwar Thakur in the Sulli deals case. He is allegedly part of an online group called Tradmahasabha.
The group, Tradmahasabha is just one of the many Trad groups existing online. There are several such groups on platforms like Telegram, Reddit, 4chan and Discord. However, some of the users are reportedly using the platforms against minority communities.
The accused joined Tradmahasabha on Twitter in January 2020 and the alleged objective was to troll Muslim women. One of the Twitter accounts operated by him was called sigmatrad. He was arrested by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) of the Delhi Police in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The accused studied at IPS Academy in Indore.
Suggested Reading: Who is Aumkareshwar Thakur, the creator of Sulli Deals App?
The DCP of Cyber Cell KPS Malhotra said, “Thakur was a member of a ‘Trad-Group’ on Twitter and the idea was shared to defame and troll Muslim ladies. He had developed the code on GitHub. The access of GitHub was with all the members of the group. The photos of Muslim women were uploaded by the group members.”
Launched last year, the Sulli Deals app had a list of Muslim women for ‘auction’. These were imaged sourced without consent and were often doctored. The light on Sulli Deals fell again after Bulli Bai was launched with a similar purpose recently and had a list of influential Muslim women in different fields like politics, activism, journalists, amongst many others. Both of these apps were built on GitHub.
But for the first time, ‘Trad’ has been used to classify such groups by the law enforcement agency. According to a report by The Indian Express, Thakur was part of “Trad” groups on Twitter and Telegram. Explaining what trads mean, the officer said, “These are some traditional and conservative groups. I saw them…the members seem to have oppressive views–from the caste system to women empowerment. They condemn changes happening around us (ins society) and often share texts from scriptures or offensive memes.” Basically, “Brahim Supremacy” as said by the accused.
According to Cyber Definitions, traditional is the most common definition of Trad on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is a slang word and very easy to guess. It is mostly used by adults and teenagers.
The Wire reported that an increasing number of people joining ‘Trad-wings’. They are “self-styled civilization warriors” and according to them other right-wingers are too liberal and they have called them “raitas.” The term raitas come from the idiom raita failana or to botch-up. For Trads, there is little scope to bend the rules for politics and they believe in “narrow religious supremacy.”
The word trad became popular with the investigation and surface of auctioning apps on social media like Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals. The main accused of Bulli Bai, Niraj Bishnoi also identified himself as “Trad.”