When Our Women Politicians Beautifully Shut Down Online Trolls
Most of us are familiar with the concept free speech. Yes, it gives us the much-desired wings to be opinionated. But what happens when a mild post on social media turns into a bad recollection which keeps haunting us? Remember online trolls target successful and women with a voice specifically. However, some gutsy ladies in Indian politics have shown us how to deal with such baseless trolling.
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The Union HRD Minister back in 2016, now Information and Broadcasting Minister after a brief stint as the Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, is known to seal trolls’ with epic replies. She has proved again and again that she is not to be hushed easily. That year she took offence at Bihar’s Education Minister Ashok Choudhary addressing her as ‘Dear Smritiji’, tweeting:
Naturally, Twitterati started bashing her:
Then it was time for the politician to give it back to the trolls and pointing out that the minister in question offered ‘mumbled apologies’. She took to Facebook and wrote:
It is no secret that our current minister of External Affairs Twitter-savvy Sushma Swaraj has been a saviour for many stuck at a tight spot. But dare you to try sabotage her image online, she is the one giving badass lessons to her trolls.
In early 2017 when she took to Twitter to fire a troll who was letting it be known that Swaraj only helped Muslims who seek visas and harassed Hindus.
Swaraj didn’t ignore it. Instead, she assisted that troll to a right place where religious harmony takes birth.
Instantly, appreciations poured in and not only from Indian but across the border, she was lauded for that inclusive message.
And, that’s just one example. Here are some of Swaraj’s spot on replies:
Not all trolls deserve just replies. Congress Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi had taken on strong action against trolls in 2016 when it mattered to demolish stereotypes.
She received an open threat on Twitter of ‘rape and murder like Nirbhaya’.
This particular episode brings back the haunting memory of the infamous 2012 gang-rape and murder of a medical student in Delhi which had sparked a nationwide debate on women safety. Certainly, it evoked angry reactions on Twitter and the user’s account was blocked. Chaturvedi also filed a police case against the user.
While speaking to NDTV, Chaturvedi said, “It’s happened in the past as well. Last time too, the person was arrested but he was freed soon since it’s not a non-bailable offence.”
Back in 2016, AICC’s social and digital media head Divya Spandana, or popularly known as Ramya, had reportedly said, “Pakistan is a good country, not hell. Parrikar’s comments (that going to Pakistan or hell is the same thing) are not true.”
Her comments came in after a raging comment made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, when he claimed that visit to Pakistan as going to hell after a shootout on Independence Day in Jammu & Kashmir. Ramya, on the other hand, contradicted the saying and claimed the people of Pakistan had been ‘nice’ and ‘hospitable’ to her.
Not surprisingly, Ramya, a member of Congress, has faced criticism from ABVP and BJP in Karnataka who branded her as ‘anti-national’.
However, the actress and former Lok Sabha MP had the perfect reply: