How the abrogation of Article 370 has unleashed the great Indian misogynistic troll

Published on: August 8, 2019
Abrogation of Article 370, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, has sparked protests and jubilation(s) across the nation. Apart from the debate over the Constitutional legality of this move, what has been appalling is the sharp levels of misogynistic content that is being circulated on the social media. Worse, much of it comes from the elected representatives of the ruling party. Commenting over the ruling regime’s decision, BJP MLA Vikram Saini passed a very sexist statement and said that Muslims in the country should be happy that they can now marry "gori" Kashmiri girls without any fear.

BJP MLA

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Saini is seen addressing a gathering in Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar and saying “Modi Ji has fulfilled our dreams and it is visible as the entire country is beating drums to express their happiness. All bachelor BJP members who are eager to get married can go to Kashmir, and we have no problem with it. In fact, BJP’s Muslim activists should be happy as they can now get married to ‘gori’ (fair) Kashmiri girls.” Saini is infamous for his acutely misogynistic and patriarchal remarks. In February last year, he had said at a public function, “I have told my wife to keep producing more children, although she had told me that two were enough.” Predictably, the senior BJP leadership has done little to chastise its men.



Social media is also replete with these kinds of sexist posts where Kashmiri women are being objectified and revocation of article 370 is being celebrated as a pass to access these “beautiful” women. Apart from the public figures, common citizens have also not stayed behind in treating women as objects and celebrating the decision as a cue to get access to Kashmiri girls. A person named Deepak Kumar posted a photo of a girl in Kashmiri attire on his Twitter handle and captioned it as “Now I want to marry Kashmiri Muslim Girls #BalochistanIsNotPakistan Just kidding .” Another person named Shailendra Kumar posted on Twitter “Now Kashmiri girls can marry with handsome boys like me....” Utkarsh Dixit, another Twitter user wrote, “Me and my boys on the way to marry some Kashmiri girls.”

People also used another social media video app TikTok to spread their filthy, patriarchal messages on similar lines as Twitter. In one such video, three men are seen standing outside a shop in Delhi. One of them asks, “What are the benefits of removing Article 370?” “The tricolour will be waved in Kashmir, bhai your turn,” Ankit Jatav tells his friend. The friend, a young man in a black tee, thumps his chest and says, “Doosra, Jammu Kashmir ki lugai milegi humein” [Second, we will get a wife from Jammu Kashmir].” In another video, one of Jatav’s friends, a young man with coiffed hair, said, “Main toh chala Kashmir, mujhe Delhi main ladki nahin mil rahi hai (I am going to Kashmir, I am not getting women in Delhi).” Jatav has over 10,000 followers.



TikTok in particular is full of slightly desperate Hindu men asserting “victory” by claiming they can now “get girls” from Kashmir. This filth is being spread on every social media platform.

Instead of discussing the serious ramifications of this move, citizens including the powerful elites like the BJP MLA Saini chose to publicize their fantasies of getting hold of “beautiful” Kashmiri women and buying plots there. While the fate of Kashmiris after the revocation of its special status is vague, these memes and videos are a clear reflection of the patriarchal society we continue to live, where women are treated as mere objects which are to be married and owned. These sexist jibes are just another example of the gross misuse of extremely accessible social media platforms, with no mechanisms in place to keep a check on the breeding of hatred and misogyny.

Just a few days before the Modi government revoked article 370, Indian film actor Kamaal R Khan, who doesn’t miss a chance to say anything misogynistic, posted such a message on his official Twitter handle. The message read, “If government will withdraw #Article370 So many foreigners and Indians will be able to marry with Kashmiri girls to stay there. And Many people will buy property in Kashmir. Lots of foreigner investment will also come to Kashmir and Kashmir will get huge development.” After the decision was announced, Khan again took to Twitter to send out his marriage proposal. The tweet read, “Now, If any beautiful Kashmiri girl is ready to marry with me, then I am ready to buy a big bungalow there. Let’s live a beautiful life in the Jannat on the earth only.”
 
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