Not long ago, noted Journalist Barkha Dutt, Rana Ayyub, and Gurmehar Kaur came together share about their experience with the trolls and how they have faced online bullying but refused to give in. However, writer Madhu Kishwar has a different take on the issue.
As a part of Hindustan Times’s campaign, Let’s Talk About Trolls, Madhu Kishwar came forward took a dig people who played “victims” to online bullying suggesting that she was grateful for the social media platform despite herself being at the end of the receiving end of trolls. Terming Barkha Dutt’s claim that “online abuse (is) a modern-day weapon to silence women,” as bizarre, Madhu asserted that it was shocking to hear this from a person who has been extremely active on social media and otherwise. She suggested that even after everything, there was no way that her voice was silenced considering that she has been around on social media and have hosted several public events.
“Ironically, those who have occupied the highest seats of power in the domain of journalism and have therefore enjoyed total monopoly over the political and social narrative in mainstream media (MSM) by shutting out and demeaning all voices and opinions that didn’t echo their own, have taken deep fright at the emergence of social media which, in my opinion, is a truly democratic platform,” Madhu wrote in a blog post for Hindustan Times.
“Since the image they see in that mirror is rather ugly, the ‘libtards’ and ‘sickularists’ (L&S Gang) have manufactured a phobic narrative that social media is infested with ‘right-wing’ trolls hired by BJP and allies to harass these bleeding-heart guardians of liberalism, secularism and human rights in India,” she added.
She further asserted that today, people go “berserk” at the slightest of criticism adding that if they wished to take “on political battles, criticise the high and mighty, engage with contentious issues,” they will have to be open to criticism. Kishwar also affirmed that she has been trolled on several occasions from both left and right wings but still continue to celebrate the power of social media. She added that if people are not capable of dealing with criticism and are “chhui-muuyi,” they should consider covering themselved with a veil and “stay inside chardiwari under the protective care of whomsoever you can trust.”
She concluded saying that social media has given a platform to each and every to voice their opinion and that has provided an equal platform for all.