Since 22nd June 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, has been trolled on twitter over her apparent silence on the controversial matter involving the issuing of passports to an inter-faith couple in Uttar Pradesh.
The couple went to a passport office as the woman, Tanvi Seth, wanted a new passport, while her husband, Anas Siddiqui, wanted to renew his passport. According to the couple, they were harassed by the passport officer, Vikas Mishra, asking Siddiqui to change into a ‘Hindu name’, whereas Seth was chided for having a Muslim husband and not changing her name after marriage.
On Wednesday Tanvi Seth reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs and Sushma Swaraj on Twitter, complaining about the harassment she faced and that the couple’s passport was put on hold. The very next day, the passports were issued and Mishra was transferred.
There was a section of Twitter which felt that the whole incident targeted Mishra unfairly. They started trolling Sushma Swaraj and posted tweets with #ISupportVikasMishra.
While Swaraj claimed to be unaware of the situation since she was in Europe at the time of the controversy, she liked almost 70 tweets targeted towards her to reveal the despicable nature of the tweets.
I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 24, 2018
Here are the 6 most ridiculous and absurd tweets.
1. Spoiling of Hindu sentiments
How the sentiments of Hindus are spoilt due to the transfer of an officer alleged for harassing an interfaith couple is beyond my understanding. Even if we assume that the allegations against the officer were wrong and he was merely following the verification process, how is it, in any way, related to Hindus or any other religion?
It is a matter of right or wrong judgment based on the evidences and testimonies. It is not related to the ‘appeasement of minorities’ which for some wild reason, hurts Hindu sentiments. Also, even if the Minister of External Affairs is concerned and involved with ‘appeasement of Muslims’, it should not hurt anyone’s religious sentiments.
2. ‘Islamic Kidney’
Swaraj went through a kidney transplant in 2016, and a section of the trollers thought that it is a good idea to bring that in the trolling session. While some said that the doctors ‘replaced’ her brain and not kidney, the concept of ‘Islamic Kidney’, and her ‘favouring’ Muslims due to that, easily wins as the most ridiculous tweet ever.
Not only do the tweets defy all logic, it is also completely sick to target someone’s health and misery for justifying a point. It is just a disgraceful and deplorable attempt to troll someone and is completely unscrupulous.
3. Attempt to join Congress
Firstly, there is no connection between being secular and the transfer of an official on the changes of harassment.
Secondly, pointing out that Swaraj should or wants to join Congress because she is ‘secular’ (or ‘sickular’ as the trolls like to call it) and ‘favours Muslims’, just reveals the bigotry of the pro-BJP Hindutva nationalists. There are basically stating that BJP is and should be only concerned with pro-Hindutva politics and not with the conditions or grievances of minorities. It implies that if someone is secular they cannot be a part of BJP and wants to join Congress or any other opposition party.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the ‘granting visas to Pakis’ part. It highlights the communal hatred and bigotry that runs deep in the mind of these trollers, bringing to light their belief that India is essentially a Hindu country and that Muslims do not belong to India. Also, if Sushma Swaraj gives visas to people from Pakistan, following proper verification, then you should have absolutely zero problem with that.
4. BJP not behaving as ‘Hindu Rakshaks’
Let’s get one thing clear – BJP or any minister belonging to BJP is not and should not be a ‘Hindu Rakshak’ (Hindu Protectors). BJP is the ruling political party, and the only thing it should be concerned with is the welfare and development of the nation and its citizens, and not with protecting any religion (especially one that’s the majority religion and is in no logical way under threat).
A political party, like BJP, can have some of its ideologies and principles inspired from a religion, but in a democratic county it cannot behave as the protector of that religion, especially when that party is ruling the country. There has to be a division between state and religion.
Lastly, looking into the grievances of minorities is not a threat to any religion and you shouldn’t place your ‘trust’ in a political party and its minister to be the ‘protectors’ of any religion.
5. Cheating on Hindus
Some of the trollers even involved the Prime Minister and appealed to him to sack Sushma Swaraj, on the charges of ‘cheating’ on Hindus if he wants to remain in power after the next general elections.
How can someone essentially believe that the government has “cheated on their religion” because the officer that was transferred was a Hindu? These people believe that India is essentially a nation in making, and try to put all their political and religious resources to make sure that it becomes a Hindu nation. This is the reason that any act or judgment against a Hindu individual or institution is seen as ‘anti-national’.
6. Rape Threats, Death Threats & Gendered Abuse
And finally, what trolling session of a female public figure is complete without the presence of toxic and terrifying abuse and threats based on her gender? Swaraj received the usual barrage of rape and death threats once the troll army trained its keyboards on her Twitter account. The trolls and their use of extreme violent and sexual language brings to surface the online gender-based violence that women regularly face.
These are just 6 of the hundreds of the tweets which were posted ridiculing Sushma Swaraj for the transfer of Vikas Mishra. These tweets clearly highlight the bigotry and absurdity of the so-called ‘nationalists’ in the phase of pro-Hindutva politics.