Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday she was “horrified” at the “vicious trolling” faced by Union minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter over the last few days.
“Absolutely outrageous!” Mufti wrote on Twitter. “If our own Minister of External Affairs is not spared, what hope is there for any other woman?”
On Saturday, Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal posted the screenshot of a tweet by a user @MG_IITDelhi, who had asked him to “beat her up” when she “comes home tonight”, and to “teacher her not to do Muslim appeasement”. On Sunday, he replied to the user, saying his words had “given us unbearable pain”.
Sushma Swaraj also started a Twitter poll, asking whether users approve of such tweets. Nearly 17 hours after the poll began, over 1.03 lakh users had voted, with 57% saying no.
On June 24, Sushma Swaraj had “liked” some abusive tweets against her after a regional passport officer in Lucknow was transferred for allegedly harassing an inter-faith couple. The posts were written while Swaraj was on a week-long visit to Europe, and after she returned, she said she felt “honoured” that a few Twitter users had targeted her over the controversy.
Swaraj has liked some more such tweets since then. Several users praised her for her reaction to the tweets. However, some comments linked the practice of abusive trolling on social media with Swaraj’s own party, Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Sushma Swaraj ji, we applaud your decision to call out the heinous trolls of your own party,” Congress had tweeted on June 24.