In the morning I was reading this blog post on Kafila in which the writer attempts to explain why he signed a petition against death penalty for Ajabmal Kasab, one of the main accused of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. He wrote the blog post in response to a recent list of signatories released by the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena and due to that many people on Twitter and elsewhere approached the writer, asking him why he signed the petition, and also called him “traitor”.
From the credentials it is not clear whether the above-mentioned blog post was written by Shivam Vij (whom I’ve mistakenly ended up following on twitter) or Dilip D’suza (because I saw this name cropping up on my timeline); these individuals have a certain type of “reputation”, but nonetheless, I believe in the central philosophy of the blog post – that we should oppose death sentence. But that’s another issue.
Unlike many on Twitter and blogsphere, I know that Hindutvavadi trolls exist. I myself have seen their unreasonable arguments – if at all you can call them arguments – and they can be really vicious, especially when they start making personal comments. In most of the cases though, the people of the above-mentioned “certain reputation” blow the degree of the problem out of proportions. Even if somebody asks them a few questions in quick succession, questioning their opinions and claims, they term him or her a troll, and block him or her.
Trolls can come from any ideology or opinion. They’re all over the Internet. If you ask my opinion, even people of the “certain reputation”, as mentioned above, can be termed as trolls by a section of people holding another, contrarian opinion. Most of the people running secular shops in the media, publishing industry and academic circles can easily be termed as trolls because they not only mob people having different opinions, they keep repeating the same stuff to make it seem real. So in most of the cases it is just a matter of perception. Interestingly, the word “troll” is mostly used by a certain section that feeds on fear mongering among minority communities. It is rarely used by the so-called Hindutvavadis.