Apps filled with Islamist profanity & rape threats targeting Hindu Women featured online
News reported by Anubhav (USA) published by NRI Herald Australia 6th January 2022
In a recent horrific development few apps & FB webpages with islamist profanity targeting hindu women have featured online sharing their photos and abusing them on the internet.
There are many pages on Facebook with a sizeable following that talk about targeting Hindu women because of their religion. The images shared on these pages, which are mostly explicit, show Hindu women with identifiable markers such as sindoor, bangles and bindi that differentiates Hindu women from others. The posts uploaded on these pages exhort followers to target and sexualise Hindu women.
Besides Facebook, Instagram is another social media platform that is rife with misogyny and harassment of Hindu women.
There are countless anonymous accounts active on the social media platform that routinely indulge in objectifying women by sharing pictures of them with identifiable markers to portray them as Hindus, along with pictures of men that are superimposed with Islamic symbols such as the crescent moon to characterise them as Muslims.
Then, there are Broadcast lists and channels dedicated to sexualising and commoditising Hindu women. Such egregious content has also been shared on Reddit. In July 2021, Reddit came under the scanner for hosting pornographic images of Hindu women lusting for Muslim men.
The Reddit accounts, which were often private, engaged in the dehumanisation of Hindu women and the photographs were accompanied by the crass language of the highest order.
Even the audio-only chat app Clubhouse has been misused by some depraved individuals to continue their misogyny against Hindu women. On June 9, an audio clip of Clubhouse conversation between the alleged social media’ influencers’ started to make rounds on Twitter where the speaker normalised ‘hate sex’ with ‘sanghis’ because women are ‘hot’.
In the undated conversation, that happened on the Clubhouse app in a room titled “sex with your ex” on the topic “Do you only date hot people”, one speaker identified as Neeraj Kadamboor (Instagram ID kadamboorneeraj) made a derogatory remark on women who are opposed to his political ideology.
Then, there are independent websites as well where religious targeting of Hindu women is rampant. One such was interfaithxxx.com, which was recently highlighted by activist Anshul Saxena after the ‘Bulli Bai’ deal case came to light. The website, which he claimed targeted Hindu women by concocting stories and fake news against them, was removed from the Internet last year
As sexual harassment of women based on their religion created quite a stir on social media, Saxena drew attention towards a Telegram channel named ‘Hindu Ran*yan’ that was using images of Hindu women with derogatory, sexually explicit references for harassment and abuse. Saxena had tagged Mumbai Police, highlighting the targeted harassment and potential sexual abuse of Hindu women via the channel.
After his tweet, some people on social media started discussing why the government was not taking against such platforms. Many users tagged IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in their tweets and asked him to take action against such channels.
"Taking cognisance of the tweet where he was tagged, the IT minister replied that he has initiated action against that particular Telegram channel and it has been blocked."
In yet another tweet, Saxena shared a few Facebook pages that have been targeting Hindu women.
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, took cognisance of Anshul’s tweet and responded that:
"he has informed Facebook’s parent company Meta and had the controversial pages enabling sexualisation of Hindu women removed"
Stringent cyber laws and proactive law enforcement agencies needed to curb the menace of online harassment
The above-listed incidents go to show that not just how Hindu women are subjected to cyber harassment and potential sexual abuse on the basis of their religion. While it is appreciable that Ministers are taking cognisance of incidents of sexual objectification and harassment on Twitter and other social media platforms, but this cannot be an ideal way of ensuring that women do not endure online abuse.
But, unfortunately, despite repeated attempts by social media users to highlight such abuse, these issues seldom get the attention that they deserve and only some of them are brought to notice, often depending on the discretion of Ministers or influential people. In some cases that manage to gain prominence, the pages and abusive accounts get suspended but those who are responsible for creating and running them are hardly brought to book.
These occurrences underscore the importance of having stringent cyber laws and an equally stringent cyber body that proactively scours the Internet for potential cases of online abuse, including harassment based on religion.
There still exist cyber organisations that are entrusted with the task of checking online abuse. However, the fact that such incidents keep cropping up and with increasing frequency indicate that they are not useful in reining in the abuse that is peddled online. And with social media users routinely tagging ministers, actors, social media influencers to draw their attention towards online abuse, it is all the more important that the Centre creates a robust mechanism to address public grievances on online harassment, including religious targeting of women.
Unless the government commissions a statutory body and sanctions it with broad powers to nab and prosecute the culprits, such religious targeting of women is bound to continue. And as it continues, Hindu women will be the worst affected by this scourge as speaking up for Hindu victims of religious bigotry invariably invites allegations of majoritarianism, rising intolerance and so on and so forth.