Raveena Tandon the 90s Bollywood actress is the new Hindutva icon in town. She is following the foot steps of her fellow Bollywood celebrities who have recently been blessed by BJP party tickets, national awards and Rajya Sabha seats for peddling BJP’s narratives and agendas.
After a recent incident where she tried to, well did in fact, sell Hindutva agenda to her 1.2 million Twitter followers, she went about playing victim of trolling by none other than Prerna Bakshi, Author, Writer and Poet, and Sanjukta Basu, yours truly. Yes, you heard that right, Raveena TAndon wants you to believe that two female journalists of considerable repute trolled her.
Let’s take a few back step and see how did this begin.
How the Mughals British/later some suits intelligentsia made us believe otherwise/made us scoff our own history .. https://t.co/nRUJOQXA80
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) May 16, 2017
Raveena Tandon on Twitter shared the link to a dubious study published on Sanskriti Magazine with the headlines, “Ramayana is not a myth.” If you read that article, you will laugh so hard, a little pee may come out. The logic it used to prove Ramayana is pure history and not a mythology, is the same logic many fans have used to prove that Harry Potter is real. Kings Cross station exist, so harry potter is real. Trees and mountains mentioned in Ramayan exist, so Ramayan was real.
Raveena Tandon did not merely share the link in casual excitement or surprise or joy or any such thing. She shared it with an objective to denigrate a section of people. That Ramayana is not a myth but a historical fact was secondary aspect in her communication, the primary aspect was to vilify a group of people from who she distinguished herself by using the word ‘us’. An unambiguous trope of us vs. them.
“Mughal British / later some suit intelligentsia” who apparently made her and her side of people “believe otherwise/made us scoff our own history…”
It maybe safely assumed that the people she is referring to are the secular, liberal, free thinking voices that criticize Hindutva agenda and question blind faith and superstition. In a nutshell those who might be against BJP and Sangh’s idea of Ram Rajya and Ram Janm bhoomi and so on. Not only was her tweet highly politicized, it also insinuated that anybody questioning the theory that Ramayana is not myth amounts to “scoffing at own history” and therefore anti national, anti Hindu etc. You know the drill.
I made a sarcastic retort to this .
— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) May 23, 2017
This was my first tweet ever to the said celebrity. Within few minute, she decided to make a come back on it. What she did was convoluted, sinister and highly provocative. Here’s how:
- Instead of re-tweeting my tweet or replying at it, she took screenshots of the tweet, along with my profile. This is because re-tweeting or replying does not blow up the person’s profile photo or profile description so is not easy to shame them by attacking their personal identity.
- She made wild allegations of ‘trolling’. Apparently my single tweet amounted to ‘trolling’ in her world view. She has no idea what trolling is.
- She made her war personal when she blew up my profile photo and description and used my feminism as part of her retort insinuating I wasn’t feminist enough or not a good feminist or something.
- She unnecessarily tagged HuffPost India and Firstpost on it, in an attempt to jeopardize my professional links with them as I occasionally write for them as a freelancer.
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) May 23, 2017
Clearly this was not a Bollywood celebrity with 1.2 million followers taking offense at my random reply. This is a dedicated agenda driven social media militant who is out there to get anybody who dares question the drivel she was peddling. She provoked her followers to attack me and since then my timeline is filled with filthiest abuse against my physical appearance, my parents, and rape threats. But hey, I am not the one trolled here. Raveena Tandon is.
Fellow journalist Prerna Bakshi, among others, questioned Tandon on her act of calling me a troll and unleashing her million followers on me.
Says a feminist-bashing actress who’s worked in “women-oriented movies”, milked it to the hilt so she can be taken seriously & still failed. https://t.co/UUpFHJkVA5
— Prerna Bakshi (@bprerna) May 24, 2017
Tandon and her followers then started attacking Bakshi using the same pattern, tagging the platforms she writes for, making insinuations on her personal identity, her feminism etc. One would be surprised that while my single tweet provoked Raveena to call me a troll, Raveena, in retaliation, went on to make over 20-30 tweets thereby endlessly dragging the matter, tagging me and Prerna and a whole bunch of other people, besides re-tweeting other tweets, continuously whining about how she has been attacked by Prerna and me.
A celebrity, albeit retired, has so much time to invest? I had no idea. I have a mere 5000+ followers and I find it difficult to go through my notifications, often coming in hundreds. I usually don’t even read all of them and particularly pay no attention to trolls. But Raveena Tandon actually invests three whole days in this Twitter brawl.
Raveena Tandon has no idea what trolling is. And I need not explain it to a nation which is outraging over Twitter’s action of blocking singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya’s account after years of abusive, violent, misogynist tweets from him. Swati Chaturvedi wrote an entire book, I Am A Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army, on this crazy phenomenon that is affecting the world like zombie attack.
The point here is that Raveena Tandon is nobody’s victim. She, like any other citizen is entitled to her religious belief. At the same time others have the right to question her. She is not entitled to pass off mythology as historical facts, based upon unverified reports, to millions of her followers without even getting questioned or laughed at for that matter. She cannot then turn around and cry over her hurt religious sentiment.
Also, this is Twitter, here you will be laughed at, taunted, abused and trolled. Get used to it. Ask us, how we are doing it everyday. You know who we are.