Trolls largely belonging to BJP have targetted women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi after she decided to set up a women and cyber crime cell in her ministry on Tuesday in response to the expletive-laden trolling of a woman journalist by former Bollywood singer Abhijeet.
Those mocking her are known abusive trolls and known supporters of her own party, the BJP. Curiously, the WCD minister has received plenty of plaudits from the BJP’s rivals, who described her move incredibly brave and the need of the hour.
— Tajinder Pal S Bagga (@TajinderBagga) July 6, 2016
— Suresh Nakhua (@sureshnakhua) July 6, 2016
Smriti Irani has been abused many times in public by political goons..Can someone pull a record of how many times @Manekagandhibjp stood up?
— MediaCrooks (@mediacrooks) July 5, 2016
The controversy started after Abhijeet, known for his abusive nature and leaning for extremist right-wing politics, had termed the murder of an Infosys employee in Chennai an instance of “love jihad”, implying that the suspected attacker was a Muslim.
The prime suspect of the Infosys’ employee’s killer was later arrested by Chennai police and identified as Ramkumar.
The former singer had resorted to choicest of expletives against a Delhi-based journalist, Swati Chaturvedi, when she objected to misinformation campaign, which could potentially cause riots.
Abhijeet also abused jantakareporter.com’s editor-in-chief, Rifat Jawaid, and threatened him of physical harm when he described his expletives as ‘so sanskari.’
Taking note of the seriousness of Abhijeet’s crime, Maneka had announced an email service for receiving complaints from women being abused online.
She had tweeted, “Use #IAmTrolledHelp to raise an alarm if you’re being bullied, stalked or abused online & you can inform me on my email email@example.com.”
When asked why her ministry had not been able to act against Abhijeet, she told The Telegraph, “It’s just been a day. Give me a couple of weeks to put in place a mechanism.”
Maneka said, “We are having a meeting tomorrow in the ministry with representatives of Twitter and Facebook besides Delhi police, and I have been receiving a lot of suggestions on what can be done to deal with abusive trolling.”
According to the paper, she also said Abhijeet’s account had been closed. But the singer has continued to tweet using his account.
Interestingly, National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam, who had moved with lightening speed to summon Salman Khan for his rape comments has questioned the move to create a cell to specifically deal with abusive trolls, arguing the Internet was too vast a space to be monitored.