New Delhi, July 2: In the last few days, we witnessed the horrific manner in which one of India's most powerful women, Union minister Sushma Swaraj, was subjected to abuse and threats on social media.
The trolling of the Union external affairs minister started after she decided to support the cause of an interfaith couple who were denied passport allegedly because of their different religions. Since then Swaraj has been trolled and abused on Twitter and Facebook after she ordered the immediate issuance of passport to the interfaith couple.
A Passport Seva Kendra official, Vikas Mishra, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh was also transferred after the interfaith couple alleged that he humiliated them when they went to the office with their passport applications.
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.
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.
After Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress came out in support of Swaraj and asked the minister to get the trolls arrested, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti lamented the fact that if Swaraj can be abused and threatened on social media, then no women is safe online.
"Absolutely outrageous!" Mufti wrote on Twitter. "If our own Minister of External Affairs is not spared, what hope is there for any other woman?"
Horrified by the vicious trolling @SushmaSwaraj ji has been subjected to . Absolutely outrageous! If our own Minister of External Affairs is not spared, what hope is there for any other woman?— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) July 1, 2018
The Union minister too tweeted again to ask trolls not to use "foul language". "In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective," Swaraj wrote on the micro-blogging site.
In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 1, 2018