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Banned: The brutal reality of a two-year social media trial and how it destroys a family

Updated on: 29 April,2024 02:43 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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Losing hope and motivation is the worst thing that can happen to us.

Banned: The brutal reality of a two-year social media trial and how it destroys a family

Banned: A social media trial

The tell all book by celebrated author and journalist Boria Majumdar also talks about the tremendous support received from the likes of India’s biggest sportspersons, Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand and others that helped him and his family survive the vitriol

Having endured a vicious trial by social media following allegations by a cricketer and a subsequent two-year ban from covering the sport that adversely impacted the mental and emotional well-being of his entire family, celebrated sports journalist and acclaimed author and historian, Boria Majumdar has finally come out with his side of the story with a no holds-barred account of the entire controversy through his new book Banned: A social media trial.

The book, which was officially launched here on Tuesday, also highlights the support the author received from India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and renowned badminton coach and 2001 All England champion Pullela Gopichand during the trying time.\

Majumdar became the target of a social media barrage two years ago after the said cricketer claimed that he was intimidated by Majumdar and put out some of their conversations “out of context” and the repercussions of those personalised attacks were felt by his immediate family – including his mother, wife, sister and even his 8-year-old daughter and dead father.

The 48-year-old had then opted to maintain silence in public about the entire episode that almost cost him his career and the survival of his then just launched start-up -- Revsportz. He finally decided to pen down his perspective on the whole controversy and also documented the challenges a professional face when he is rendered powerless against the force of social media trolls after having served the ban and having complied with every sanction imposed on him.

Speaking on the occasion, Boria Majumdar said, “A social media trial can break you. There were thousands of tweets of abuse for days on end, all premised on a set of untruths pushed by someone hugely powerful because he had played for the country and the national team. Against the entitled, I never stood a chance. The online trial forced me and the family to draw on every last bit of inner strength, and yet left permanent scars.”

“Having served the ban, I wanted closure in the form of this book. But no one knows better that there will never be a full stop. I will not get back the two years of opportunities that I lost, or the days and evenings when I was almost a stranger to my daughter,” he added.

Speaking about the perils of social media trials, Gopichand added, “With the continuous social media abuse, we tend to lose hope. Losing hope and motivation is the worst thing that can happen to us. When this controversy happened my only advice to Boria was to focus on what he does best – his journalism – and forget everything else.”

Bindra also underlined how athletes have significant influence on social media and can drive the narrative and felt that sportspersons should be more careful and take responsibility when they put out things on social media. “I think as athletes and as a community, we stand for certain values and should be very careful with what we say or put out for we have a certain currency. What we put out on social media I think is something that we must be very wary of and do it with a degree of responsibility,” he commented.

The book not only details the challenges Majumdar and his family endured following the incident but also throws light on the past interactions between him and the cricketer, the context behind his messages that were used against him and how putting them “out of context” led to projecting him in negative light.

Speaking about the difficult times they endured due to targeted social media abuse by trolls who did not even spare her and their eight-year-old daughter, Majumdar’s wife, Dr Sharmistha Gooptu said, “I can only be thankful that my daughter was then 8 and not 14 or 15 and not on social media to witness her father’s humiliation. The trolls did not spare her, or me.”


Banned: A social media trial is also available at all leading bookstores and e-commerce platforms.

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