No end to trolling? After Sushma Swaraj, Kamal Haasan faces backlash over caste on social media
New Delhi, July 2: After "normal mortals", it seems trolls have decided to target the VIPs. The vicious, violent and sexist attack against Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on social media in the last few days has left everyone shocked.
Now, it is the turn of actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan to face the backlash of angry Twitterati.
Haasan has come under criticism from a section of Twitterati over his stand against caste, seeking to remind him of reported remarks made by his daughter Shruti about her caste identity some years back and asked him to start reforms from his own backyard.
Haasan's recent Twitter remarks that he had refused to fill in the caste and religion column in his daughters' school admission certificate, was questioned by some Twitter users, asking if that alone could end caste issues.
"I refused to fill in the caste & religion column in both my daughters' school admission certificate. That's the only way, it will pass on to the next generation. Every individual shld start contributing fr progress. Kerala started implementing the same. Those who do shld be celebrated," Haasan had tweeted.
However, a Twitter user uploaded a brief part of a TV interview by Shruti Haasan some years ago, where she appears to say she was an "Iyengar" (a Brahmin Vaishnavite sect).
"@ikamalhaasan ur attempts to abolish caste has totally failed sir despite you not filling in the school application. Start your reform from home sir. Not filling in caste is not a solution, bring the kids up in a way they don't know their caste #Hypocrite," wrote one user.
Shruti had "proudly" identified her father, her sister and herself to be "iyengar," another Twitter user said, adding "mere removal of the "poonool" (sacred thread-janevu) or tearing apart the caste certificate will not end caste."
Incidentally, Haasan had made some remarks about the sacred thread also, saying it was one that had "affected" him. Replying to a Twitter user's question on the 'Nool' (book in Tamil) that impacted him the most, the actor took to word play to say he was affected by 'poonool' the sacred thread.
'Nool' in Tamil refers to book, while sacred thread is called 'poonool' in the language. "Naan thavirtha nool ondru irukkirathu. Athu ennai migavum bathitha nool-- poonool, athanalaye athai thavirthen," he wrote in Tamil on Twitter.
The tweet roughly translates to "there is one nool (thread) that I was affected most; the poonool.. That is why I avoided it," he said.
A twitter user, referring to this tweet, told Haasan, "You won't fill in the caste column in your daughters school application. But you openly declare your identity," apparently referring to Shruti's comments.
In spite of Swaraj and her husband highlighting the abuse and threats both of them had to endure in the last few days, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to issue an official statement in support of its senior cabinet minister.
The nature of trolling ranges from asking the Union minister's husband Swaraj Kaushal to beat her, allegations of Muslim appeasement against the senior BJP leader to assassination threats against the Union minister.