17, Feb 2023 | CJP Team
Ever since actress and activist Swara Bhaskar announced her marriage to Fahad Ahmad, the state president of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, a youth wing of Samajwadi Party Maharastra, the Hindu Right wing has upped their trolling game. The same outfits and the same people who scream and take oaths to protect their “Hindu daughters” are uttering demeaning words for Swara as she has now chosen to marry a Muslim.
Swara Bhaskar had secretly married political activist Fahad Ahmad in court on January 6, 2023. It was also shared that it was while they were both protesting against the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act that these two found love. But, as soon as this news came out, different forms of trolling was then seen on Twitter, ranging from anti-women statements, anti-Muslim statements to character assassinating Swara and bringing in the murder case of Shraddha Walker, wherein her live-in partner had murdered her and then chopped her body into parts.
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Swara Bhaskar has already faced her share of trolling for being an opinionated and vocal woman, and for her dynamic roles in movies, but this is a new low.
Many twitter users, belonging to both Hindu and Muslim extremist outfits, tweeted Islamophobic and derogatory tweets that pushed the communal and misinformed narrative that Hindu women who choose to marry Muslim men usually end up dead. Many tweets along the similar lines were seen, with statements such as “congratulations in advance for covering Swara in black tarpaulin.” Fired up by the recent case of Shraddha walker, wherein the man who murdered and chopped her was Muslim, these anti-Muslim tweets can be seen.
Along with Swara Bhaskar, actress Richa Chadha and Rakhi Sawant, who had also recently married Muslim men were made a part of this communally intolerant diatribe.
While the couple has gotten their marriage registered in Court, presumably under the Special Marriage Act that contains provisions for inter-faith couples, many tweets couple been seen about how Swara, by marrying a Muslim, has no more a Hindu.
Not only men, but also women trolled the couple. People began digging through Swara’s previous tweets hours after she made the announcement and came across one old tweet in which the actor is seen addressing her husband as ‘bhai’ (brother). The now-viral tweet is not particularly old, and it appears that Swara is teasing Fahad, who was already married to her at the time. In the tweet, the actor appears to be calling Fahad ‘bhai’ in gest while wishing him a happy birthday. The tweet reads, “जन्मदिनमुबारकफ़हादमियाँ! भाईकाकॉन्फ़िडेंसबरकराररहे🙂
@FahadZirarAhmad खुशरहो, आबादरहो.. उम्रहोरहीहैअबशादीकरलो!
Have a great birthday & a fantastic year dost! (sic).”
A few examples of how the trollers used this friendly tweet to push their communal agenda and portray their sick mentality is as follows:
To make matters worse, Islamic scholars then also gave their unsolicited opinion and said that inter-faith marriages are not accepted in Islam.
It is pertinent to note that these above-mentioned tweets have been posted by handles that have a blue tick, are verified and call themselves journalists, scholars, social workers, authors, etc. are the ones who are tweeting and spreading all this hatred. None of the statements made by the trollers made much sense. In many cultures and tribal belts, even in Maharashtra and Punjab, there are customs concerning marriages were certain family members are allowed to get married.
There is an environment of growing intolerance. Extremists belonging to both Hindu and Muslim communities create a space of non-acceptance and bigotry, adding fuel to the current fire of division and religious fanaticism. The constitutional secular essence of India is found in such stories of love and tolerance, and rising above this hyper-fixation on religious sectarianism.