Angry Indian Trolls vs “Power Bitches”

Social Commentary

Angry Indian Trolls vs “Power Bitches”

Illustration: Akshita Monga

A

s I swam through Twitter’s usual pool of bile and vitriol a few nights ago – this time courtesy Paresh Rawal, an elected member of parliament who had asked for author Arundhati Roy to be violated – I was struck by a sense of déjà vu. I was back in 2016, aimlessly attending The Hindu Lit Fest in Chennai. Over those two days, I attended two talks that I remember to this day; both memorable for two vastly different reasons.

Both the talks were anchored around two of India’s most articulate public speakers, Shashi Tharoor and Barkha Dutt. Of course, it’s a pleasure seeing them perform, not just for their command over the spoken word, but the felicity with which they answered audience questions. However, if you needed any evidence of the different barometer we have for perceiving men and women in the public intellectual sphere, there it was, unfolding in front of your eyes.

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