Troll followed by PM Modi targets 3-year-old daughter of journalist Rifat Jawaid

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A troll followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday targetted the 3-year-old daughter of senior journalist Rifat Jawaid after the latter posted a cute painting of his ‘princess.’

Rifat Jawaid

The painting by baby Zabreyn Rifat Jawaid, was widely appreciated with hundreds of users commenting on and sharing the tweet. While posting his daughter’s painting, Rifat had written, “My 3-year-old princess Zabreyn’s ‘masterpiece.’ Here she shows herself in a carrot farm! She will turn 4 next Saturday!”

Commenting on Zabreyn’s painting, psephologist Yashwant Deshmukh wrote, “This is sooooooooo beautiful. I can see that she has directly used brush without pencil as such. Great potential. God bless. (sic)” Student activist Gurmehar Kaur wrote, “This is adorable! Sending her my lovee.” Journalist Mukesh Kejriwal said, “Beautiful! Seems like she has inherited the talent of giving shape to creative thoughts. Plenty of love.”

Amidst the outpour of love and appreciation for the little baby, who will celebrate her fourth birthday on 17 March, several vicious Hindutva trolls began to target the innocent child because of her Muslim faith. Prominent among them was a troll, who India’s prime minister follows on Twitter. This troll wrote, “Oye Rifat Jawaid. Isn’t painting haram in Islam? Make your daughter renew her faith in Islam. Send your daughter to madrasa. You are getting her educated in English-medium school despite being a Muslim? Allah will send you to hell and you wouldn’t have the pleasure to enjoy 72 hoors (virgins) and 83 slaves.”

This prompted Rifat to tag PM Modi and ask if he was feeling proud of following a troll, who targets a 3-year-old girl. He wrote, “Dear @narendramodi you must be a proud man today seeing the man you follow on Twitter have such ‘beautiful ‘ thoughts for a 3-year-old girl!”

Rifat’s tweet went viral in no time with users cutting across their ideological leanings condemning the troll for his language used against a 3-year-old child. Poet politician Kumar Vishwas wrote, “Such disgusting comments for a 3-year-old baby just because you have ideological differences (with his father). Every political party has hired such goons to attack those who critcise them. I’ve had to face from three fronts and am still facing them. Love to Rifat Jawaid’s little daughter. I pray to God she makes India proud all over the world.”

Journalist Abhisar Sharma wrote, “Shocking. And I fail to understand @narendramodi ji ‘s helplessness to follow such filth.”

Chartered accountant Komal Tiwari wrote, “BJP IT cell touches new lows everyday ! I understand they dislike @RifatJawaid ‘s journalism but saying this for a kid is gross ! Yucks !”

AAP MLA Alka Lamba said that the troll in question was a serial offender as she had lodged an FIR against him way back in 2015. She wrote, “Take it in writing Rifat, no action will be taken against this bhakt. He’s very close to saheb (Modi). Three years ago, I lodged an FIR against the same person with the cyber crime. This cheap bhakt has crossed the limits of indecency on many occasions. But his God (Modi) saves him on every occasion. Because these bhakts are paid precisely for this reason.”

Prime Minister Modi is known to follow some of the most vicious trolls on Twitter. These trolls are notorious for harassing women and issuing them rape and death threats on the microblogging site. Within hours of Gauri Lankesh’s murder last year, another troll followed by Modi had rejoiced her brutal assassination by calling her a ‘bitch.’ But, the criticism has had very little impact on Modi’s decision to unfollow them on Twitter.

In 2015, Modi had invited a group of hardcore trolls known as ‘Super 150’ at his official residence. This signified just what keeping an army of vicious trolls meant this prime minister. Ironically, the same prime minister had launched a campaign Beto Bachao, Beti Padhao, which loosely translates as ‘Save a girl child and educate her.’ His subsequent action in extending tacit support to the army of Hindutva trolls harassing girls on social media has come in sharp contradiction to his claims on ensuring the safety of girl children in India.

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