From Swara Bhaskar to Swastika Mukherjee, women who speak their minds are viciously attacked in the cyberspace. From political ideologies to sartorial choices, women are judged mercilessly and are threatened, not very subtly, to refrain from talking freely and fearlessly. Social media trolling reaches new lows everyday with nameless and faceless trolls targeting users, especially celebrities. Actor-MP Nusrat Jahan has been a target of trolls ever since she donned the MP’s hat. Be it for posting a TIkTok video or wearing western outfit to the Parliament, trolls have, time and again, targeted her for her choices and opinions.
She has been put under the spotlight and issued Fatwas in the past, each time she participated in a Hindu festival. But Nusrat has always hit back at her trolls.
Speaking to us, Nusrat says, “Just because it is virtual, doesn’t mean it is not real. There has been a widespread increase in the spread of negativity. Online abuse towards women is on the rise. Rape threats and moral policing towards women have become a fad. Women will be judged on just about anything – cooking, wearing certain kinds of clothes, opinions, and for any generic activity. People giving rape and death threats online are ones with a sick mentality. All they have is a fake name or ID as cover and a lot of time to carry out such activities. I am concerned about this growing negativity in the online space but I do not pay much heed to such things. In real-life, I have dealt with stalkers and crazy fans so I know how to deal with all such people. My mantra is to ignore the negativity.”
Nusrat feels that online abuse and trolling directed towards women are an extension of the reality that the society reflects. “We need stringent laws to deal with such crimes,” she says.