Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has suffered vicious trolling for days over her ministry’s clearance to the passport of a Hindu-Muslim couple, today had an instant comeback for a tweet targeting her. Over the past few days, Ms Swaraj has handled attacks on social media, widely condemned even by rival parties, with restraint and politeness that should have shamed trolls.
This morning too, she hit back in very few words.
Ms Swaraj has been targeted on Twitter ever since her ministry helped a couple who alleged harassment by an official over passport renewal.
Tanvi Seth and Anas Siddiqui had complained to the minister last month that they were humiliated by an officer when they went to renew a passport. Tanvi said she was asked to change her name; her husband said he was asked to change his religion. The couple did get their passport and the official was transferred by the ministry.
Ms Swaraj, who was on a visit abroad at the time, and found herself the target of attacks on her return, tweeted: “I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them”.
On Sunday, Ms Swaraj tweeted, “In a democracy, difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective.”
Later, the senior minister also posted a poll on twitter, asking users if they “approve” of such trolling – a shocking 43 per cent said yes, which prompted former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah to comment: “Shame on trolls and their supporters/apologists”.
Amid noticeable silence from the BJP brass, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday came out in support of his cabinet colleague, calling the trolling “wrong”.