Ranjona Banerji: The miserable life of trolls

Feb 08, 2017, 08:15 IST | Ranjona Banerji

Why do people complain about trolls making rape and death threats? It’s the only way to convince the evil liberal that a troll is always right

TMC leader Derek O’Brien lashes out at Twitter trolls in Parliament on February 2. Pic/PTI
TMC leader Derek O’Brien lashes out at Twitter trolls in Parliament on February 2. Pic/PTI

I don’t know about you, but one’s heart has to feel real pain for pro-BJP internet celebrities, trolls and so on. Their life is tough and miserable. There they are, expressing their freedom of expression on Twitter, guaranteed to them in Guru Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts and in the Bal Narendra comics. They use language so wittily and with such zest. For instance when they tell a well-known writer that she is not getting enough sex and that’s why she tweeted condolences after a death in a political family. Come on, you liberals. What’s so objectionable about that?

Most right-thinking people of course understand that a troll has no option but to tweet like this. After all, liberals have long ruined the country with their talk about Muslim problems or caste discrimination. There is no such thing as caste discrimination in India. All right-thinking people have been taught that at proper schools where proper history is taught — not those rubbish Nehruvian or Christian missionary type schools that other people have attended. The caste system for instance was brought to India by Muslim conquerors. It is only evil Leftists, socialists, people who went to JNU, historians, intellectuals, experts and other unreliable people who will tell you otherwise.

So what else is a troll to do but to correct all these misconceptions about Indian society? How else can a troll stop Muslims from getting all the benefits in India? How else can a troll convince you that you are wrong if he or she does not bring in your sex life, your mother’s anatomy and so on into his or her tweets? These are standard ways in which to convince the evil liberal that a troll is always right and usually rightwing.

Trolls also have to track and correct you by gender. Women must be specially targeted so that they learn proper lessons about how women should behave. It is not the fault of trolls that so many women think they can say what they like or behave in any way they want to. And women who are also activists, communists, leftists, intellectuals, journalists and such like are human abominations. They need special attention. Trolls dedicate so much of their time and effort to get these women back to the right norms of behaviour according to the Troll Guide to Females. And how little such trolls are appreciated: People on social media get more upset about how dogs are treated than they do about how trolls are treated.

Many people also uselessly complain that trolls make rape and death threats. This is a gross exaggeration and another way to intimidate and cause pain to trolls. No liberal ever mentions that for every 6,000 rape threats that a rightwing pro-BJP troll may make, a troll who owes allegiance to another political system makes at least one or two such threats. Do people care that they are only maligning BJP trolls? Do they? Do they? Never! BJP trolls have to bear the brunt of all this self-righteous anger from liberals and Congress, AAP, SP, TMC, BSP (add any political party except BJP and its allies here) stooges.

And now the worst has happened. The name of a troll has been mentioned in Parliament. The hardworking troll has been forced to suspend his Twitter account. He can no longer tell women that they are sexually frustrated or tell journalists that they are “presstitutes”. He can no longer attack people who dislike Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the greatest prime minister in the world. He can no longer abuse anyone as freely as his freedom of expression, guaranteed in the Constitution written by various BJP stalwarts, allows him. This is a truly heart-wrenching situation.

Luckily for this particular troll, a right-thinking rightwing magazine and a right-thinking editor have started a campaign to save this troll from this gruesome and bloodthirsty attack by a non-BJP person. Mentioning someone’s actual name when the troll hides behind a fake name: How wicked and liberal is that? Our very foundation as a democracy has been threatened by this one action.

The divine right of the troll is to viciously abuse and insult and to spread false information. It is heartening that some people at least understand that in a post-truth world, the troll is vital for “alternative facts” and plain bigoted rubbish.

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @ranjona. Send your feedback to mailbag@mid-day.com

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