Journalist Sushmita Sinha Who Ridiculed Teej Gets Death & Rape Threats. Has Mob Justice Become the Norm?

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Journalist Sushmita Sinha Who Ridiculed Teej Gets Death & Rape Threats. Has Mob Justice Become the Norm?

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

A week after violent clashes broke out in Bengaluru over a “derogatory” post targeting Muslims, a video of a Delhi-based journalist, in which she criticises the Hindu festival of Teej, has angered parts of social media, with many calling for her arrest.

In the video, Sushmita Sinha is seen asking if she should use a booklet, the Hartalika Teej Katha, as toilet paper or as a tissue because it is of “no use” to her. The journalist says on Instagram live that she bought the “useless” book, which featured a picture of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on its cover, for ₹15.

 

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Women should stop practising these hollow beliefs.. Women are much more than fasting for men and fearing about these stupid books ..

A post shared by Sushmita Sinha (@sushmitaasinha) on

“Now I am wondering if I should use this book as tissue paper or toilet paper. What do you think?” she continued, earning the wrath of several angry commenters who made the hashtag “ArrestSushmitaSinha” trend on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Teej festival, according to Sinha, was misogynistic as it asked wives to fast for the good health of their husbands. She refers to a passage from the booklet, which says that women who don’t follow the ritual will suffer from poverty and misfortune, as proof.

Among those outraged by the video was BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who put out a series of tweets asking who the woman was, and questioning the “secularism of leftists”.

Patra also spoke about the clashes in Bangalore last week, saying that those who were outraged by the post targeting the Prophet, are now arguing for Sinha’s freedom of expression. “Do Hindus have no feelings, don’t Hindus get hurt,” he asked.

A number of BJP leaders called for arrest as well.

Sinha, meanwhile, uploaded another video in which she says she has been receiving death and rape threats online, and that her original video had been clipped and taken out of context on Twitter.

This incident took place barely a day after another YouTuber, Heer Khan, was arrested for making “derogatory” comments against Hindu Gods and Goddesses in UP’s Prayagraj, hours after the hashtag, “ArrestHeenaKhan” started to trend on Twitter.

And again recently comedian Agrima Joshua was also on the receiving end, getting death and rape threats for a joke that upset a few members of the Shiv Sena, who saw it as an insult to Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Clearly in this country, some things never change.

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