How trolls in different nations reflect the fears of their masters | opinion | Hindustan Times
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How trolls in different nations reflect the fears of their masters

It’s not decent, and it does not work, because regardless of who says it truth always stands by itself and sets us free. It is only dishonesty alone that needs the support of government.

opinion Updated: Jul 12, 2017 17:18 IST
Social media enables everyone to speak up and out, hence it is a threat to those who fancy themselves as the representatives of a nation, people, religion, class, race or party
Social media enables everyone to speak up and out, hence it is a threat to those who fancy themselves as the representatives of a nation, people, religion, class, race or party(HT)

Anyone who writes on social media about politics is swiftly bullied by trolls to discredit him or her into silence, much more so if the author disparages communitarian or authoritarian movements, or governments.

Social media enables everyone to speak up and out, hence it is a threat to those who fancy themselves as the representatives of a nation, people, religion, class, race or party. They need support and when the old methods of buying, menacing, firing or jailing journalists can’t stifle dissenters, they send in trolls to harass and silence everybody into submission. To these people, dissent is blasphemy, thinking is treason, saying otherwise makes you an enemy of the good, believing, gullible people the authoritarians want.

There are marked differences among trolls of different countries, which shed light on the fears of their ideological masters.

For example, Venezuela’s Chavistas and India’s Hindutvas relish to belittle criticism coming from foreigners just because a foreigner is only allowed to praise them, but it’s Hindutva’s spicy specialty to insist manically on the past and present real and invented atrocities made by the country of the critic as an argument to insult her.

I have been viciously trolled by them. Here are some examples:

@vharyanca on 29/6

None of your business to interfere in my country’s matter. @rajnathsingh pls take note of such people

@wowdoge007 on 06/7

Just another minion on satan’s payroll

@sanatandesh on 03/7

Pope’s altar boy I think he’s a papal agent

Both Hindutvas and Catalan Processists --- the staunch believers in a process towards Independence that always stands still --- justify their own wrongs and crimes alleging Whites’ (or Muslims’) and Spaniards’ respective wrongs and crimes, an astonishing guilty confession indeed.

Turkey’s Erdoğanists and India’s Hindutvas obsessively focus on paymasters of critics, which includes the Congress party, the Vatican and Satan, but also show their innate viciousness by parading their manliness and abusing their critics.

Brexiteers and Trumpkins shout that winning a vote means nobody can discuss it further, a pretence alien to Hindutvas until their paltry 31% victory in the general elections of 2014, as alien to them as the Spanish trolls obsession of insulting Catalans as renegades and traitors, and the Catalan processists’ sanctimoniousness of sending all dissenters to psychiatric wards.

As Pankaj Mishra has ably demonstrated, Hindutva ideology is just the Indian branch of the anti-modern, authoritarian, far-right and sometimes far-left, anti-globalist and anti-Enlightenment trend haunting the world two centuries on, hence Hindutva trolls share with their like-minded trolls worldwide some insults (“libtard”, “sickular”) that sprout from a common mindset: Don’t bother to discuss the dissenters’ arguments, just discredit them personally, sully their reputations, bully them into submission or silence, turn any statement of fact into a question of motive or shut them up.

It’s not decent, and it does not work, because regardless of who says it truth always stands by itself and sets us free. It is only dishonesty that needs the support of the State.

Here’s what a Spanish poet beautifully wrote: “Truth is truth, be it said by King Agamemnon or by his swineherd either”.

Alfons López Tena is lawyer, former member of the Council of the Judiciary of Spain and of the Parliament of Catalonia, writes regularly in the press in America, India, Spain, and Israel.The views expressed are personal

@alfonslopeztena