Why Do Trolls Hate Nusrat Jahan? The Actor-MP’s Photo as Goddess Durga Has Led to Death Threats


Why Do Trolls Hate Nusrat Jahan? The Actor-MP’s Photo as Goddess Durga Has Led to Death Threats

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Actor and Member of Parliament Nusrat Jahan is no stranger to receiving death threats on social media. Since she entered politics as a Trinamool MP from West Bengal a year ago she has been endlessly trolled for her choice of clothing, her political opinions, and even for celebrating Hindu festivals.

Over the last week the trolls have sprung into action once again, after Jahan posted a photo of herself dressed as Goddess Durga on Instagram. Jahan, who is a Muslim woman, recently uploaded the photo, in which the MP is wearing a saree and holding up a trishul to celebrate the first day of the upcoming Durga Puja festivities. In her replies a number of hardliners have sent her threatening messages.

“Your time to die has finally arrived. Fear Allah. Can’t you keep your body covered? Chi Chi Chi,” one of these users wrote in the comments.

Following her latest round of trolling, reports say, the actor has approached the Ministry of External Affairs to provide extra security during her time in London, as well as for domestic travel back home. She is yet to file an FIR against some of the recent abusive comments as she’s tied up with shoots.

“We have taken up the matter with the Bengal government and Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, who are in turn coordinating with the Indian embassy in London for her protection as an additional security measure. Ms Jahan has always stood for her secular and inclusive viewpoints and these trolls do not deter her,” a friend of the actor told reporters.

Last year, the actor was famously trolled for her choice of attire on the first day of the newly constituted Parliament. While most MPs opt for traditional Indian clothes, Jahan had worn pants and a top, which had prompted many trolls to tell her that Parliament was not a place for “photo shoots”, and led to thousands of calls to “respect culture”.

Now after her recent round of trolling, it seems clear that the MP will no longer stand for such behaviour. It’s an uphill battle, though, considering how intolerant most Indians are, especially in matters of religion.