Hautetalk: Leaking Personal Data Online Is A Disgusting Way Of Silencing Women’s Voices
The more that I’m reading and learning about the controversy of the hijab row in Karnataka that has students protesting against that hijabs are not allowed in schools and colleges, the more I can see a pattern. What pattern, you ask? Well, the very fact that it has become increasingly easier for those with means to just leak personal data of their opponents with the intention of silencing them. In fact, these cheap and dirty intimidation tactics are making it really difficult for petitioners and protestors to remain anonymous and keep fighting the injustice that they face. Because who knows when your name, number, address, or social media details of your family members might be leaked online, and trolls might begin cyberbullying, which is the new intimidation tactic that is being used to curb voices in protest.
Take the instance of the hijab row in Karnataka, where personal details of six Muslim girls, who are minors and students, were revealed just because they were fighting for their right to wear a hijab. In fact, these girls have also spoken up against how they are now terrified for themselves and their families ever since their details went viral.
Is this the kind of nation we all choose to live in? I really think not. We are living in a country where minor girls and students are terrified to raise their voices against any and every injustice they face. They are scared to protest or appeal to the court when their rights get violated. Why? Well, because those who want to keep them from doing so just by a click of a button leak their phone numbers, addresses, parents’ numbers, pictures, and even their mark sheet.
Also Read: Hautetalk: Karnataka College Allows Muslim Students In Hijab To Enter, But Seats Them In Separate Classroom. This Is Not A Win!
The intimidation tactics that they use against these women have constantly been escalating and it is very evident in the controversy of hijab row. First, it started off with a mob of students chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ around a Muslim girl student who was the part of the protest that took place for banning hijabs, then it moved to our very own political leader misbehaving with a girl wearing a hijab, after which the personal details of six Muslim girl students who were the forerunners of the protest were leaked, following which teachers and students were forced to remove their hijab before entering the campus/class, and most recently, Muslim women were beaten by the cops for protesting about the ban. Do you not see a pattern yet?
And does it end here or even begin here? No. Outspoken women, from actors to comedians to journalists to activists are constantly being harassed online, and their personal lives are always up for scrutiny, or worse for exposure so that harassing them becomes easier and their voices are silenced.
How do we expect anything to change in our country when the voices of the oppressed are constantly suppressed using intimidation tactics that just instil fear? How will they have a voice when you expose, violate, and strip them from their anonymity to serve a rather unfair purpose? Targeting a group of marginalised girls and women, beating them, leaking their personal information, forcing them to do things/wear clothes in a certain way, is not only cheap but also dirty. To me, these methods seem nothing short of psychological torture that every Muslim girl student protesting the hijab ban is facing right now, as we speak.
Just imagine, these are minor girl students who just want to attend college, graduate, and get their dream job. These are girls who have a dream and wish to fulfil it. But once something is out on the internet it never really disappears – just like the personal data of these students who are standing up for what they believe is right. If things continue to be this way, I’m not sure that we’ll be a country capable enough of calling ourselves a democracy anymore.