“Crackers Not Mentioned in Our Epics.” Why Are We Trolling Karnataka IPS Officer for a Logical Remark?

Social Commentary

“Crackers Not Mentioned in Our Epics.” Why Are We Trolling Karnataka IPS Officer for a Logical Remark?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

After brands, cricketers, and film stars, it is now time for IPS officers to be trolled on social media. What could their crime possibly be? For one, Karnataka IPS officer D Roopa supported the ban on firecrackers. Cue the outrage, the “anti-Hindu” jibes, and “Why don’t you talk about other religions?” whataboutery.

Stating the impact of crackers on pollution and people’s health, D Roopa wrote in a Facebook post, “Crackers were not there during the early and later Vedic age; there is no mention of crackers in our epics and Puranas. Crackers came into this country with Europeans. It is no core tradition or custom related to Hinduism.”

A popular Twitter account True Indology disputed the claim, following which Roopa demanded evidence of crackers being mentioned in ancient scriptures.

The debate between the two invited the wrath of the social media trolls, who indulged in despicable name-calling, blamed her for “attacking” a citizen online and “wasting time on Twitter” during working hours. She was also blamed for the suspension of True Indology’s Twitter account (which has been previously suspended as well). After the suspension, #BringBackTrueIndology started trending on Twitter, with actor Kangana Ranaut giving her two cents.

However, D Roopa grabbed the bull by the horn and gave it back to the trolls like a boss, stating that someone with a merely different point of view can’t be termed an “entitled or arrogant babu”. She pointed out that faceless and nameless trolls who indulge in abusive language can’t play victims when challenged with facts and information.

The IPS officer quite confidently stated that her job as a government official is to ask people to follow the laws and rules made by the elected legislature and enforced by the executive. Those institutions of our democracy must be respected, she said. “Do u expect me to say don’t follow govt order? Sorry folks, that’s not going to happen,” she tweeted.

“You may troll me, abuse me, accuse me, for you have ample time to do just that, but can’t take away my conviction and commitment to duty and law of the land. Jai Hind!” she said, having the final word on the issue.

Besides Delhi, which has been grappling with severe levels of pollution, states including Karnataka, West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha had put varying degrees of restrictions on the use of crackers during Diwali. The fact that an IPS officer is trolled online for just doing her duty and encouraging people to follow the law, speaks quite poorly of the online discourse in the country.