On Monday, Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan took to Instagram to wish people on occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. However, she seems to have never anticipated the hatred and online lynching that she could receive from social media users.
As Sara Ali Khan wished her fans on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, a mob of social media users barged into her timeline to attack and abuse her, claiming that wishing Hindus was anti-Islamic and questioned her whether she was really a Muslim.
Then followed personal abuse against Sara Ali Khan, as fellow Muslims said she should be ashamed of being a Muslim. Some even questioned whether she was a Muslim.
Abusing a woman, despite being from the same community for celebrating a Hindu festival is symptomatic of dangerous levels of radicalization.
Sara Ali Khan is daughter of film actors Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh. Film actor Kareena Kapoor is her step-mother. This is not the first time that Muslim celebrities are subjected to severe abuse on social media for celebrating Hindu festivals. Shahrukh Khan, too, has been a victim of trolling on social media after he had tweeted a picture of his son celebrating Ganesh Puja. Muslims had called it a ‘sin’, had abused and condemned him.
Popular Bengali actress and a TMC MP from West Bengal, Nusrat Jahan was insulted on Facebook for celebrating Durga Puja as it was ‘inappropriate’. Cricketer Mohammad Kaif was trolled by Muslim fundamentalists for celebrating Christmas and condemned for performing the Surya Namaskar. Another cricketer Irfan Pathan was told by fundamentalists that Raksha Bandhan is ‘against Islam’ and abused when he wished everyone on a special day.
In the past, a freelance protestor from JNU, Shehla Rashid, was forced to deactivate her Facebook account as well after receiving rape threats from Muslims. The rape threats were in response to Rashid asking Muslims whether they would let their sisters and daughters marry a non-Muslim man of their choice.
On another occasion, Arshad Mansuri, a Muslim doctor from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, had claimed that he was receiving threats due to his pledge to donate his organs after death. His pledge had angered a section of his community who were angered by his committing an “anti-Islamic” act.
In December 2017, a popular Radio Jockey from Kerala, RJ Sooraj, had attracted the wrath of Muslim hardliners. He had received death threats after coming out in support of three Burkha-clad girls who had angered radicals by performing an innocuous street dance as part of a flash mob to create awareness on AIDS Day.
Despite all the hatred pushed by the minority community, the ‘liberal-secular’ media mafia turns a blind eye towards the radicalization that has gripped the minority community but blames Hindus for rising intolerance. Despite the growing intolerance, it has become normal for ‘liberals’ to embrace silence whenever Islamic radicalism manifests itself with hatred and intolerance.