The trolling of 16-year-old actress Zaira Wasim and 20-year-old college student Gurmehar Kaur on social media are two of the most recent examples of the growing intolerance to dissent in India with extreme right-wing nationalism now dominating the country’s political landscape. The women were vilified, subjected to online sexual and psychological harassment, their voices appropriated by a dominant patriarchal discourse, and their gendered analysis rendered completely worthles
How it started does not matter. Everything is different now. A spark, a simmer, a stranger’s torch—everything burns anyway. The first insult, the first stone—remote realities, not mine. To rage, to wage, to flee—nothing decided by me. The shells hurt us all, but they wound the least. Our heavy, aching hearts by fear and uncertainty are besieged. We wait in our homes, fretting over a hundred things. Will she return? Did they reach safe? What is happening? Did she run?