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Witerati | Diwali trolls spell festival of slights

Trolls taunted Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt & Co for double speak, “Please release a single movie without a single cracker, then come with advice...”

punjab Updated: Oct 29, 2017 15:10 IST
Chetna Keer
Chetna Keer
Hindustan Times
Diwali trolls,trolls,Twitter
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau was targeted on social media for his ‘Diwali Mubarak’ wish.(AFP File)

Diwali is no longer just about crackers that pierce the atmosphere. It’s also about fireworks that erupt on cybersphere.

As the social media was driving anti-cracker crusades, trolls were busier driving tirades. The Festival of Lights translated into a festival of slights. Diwali controversies “virtually” exploded in many a famous face a la “seeti seeti bang bang” or aloo bombs bursting on unsuspecting derrieres. And the debate din on Twitter or telly, sparked by the cracker ban, perhaps outrivalled the noise pollution blamed on poor patakhas itself.

For famous Tweeple, who encountered explosions emanating from the trolling underbelly of Twitter-scape that did bursting bans escape, there were lessons on how not to be at the receiving end of Diwali blasts!

Lesson One was for global heads of state to whom Indian felicitations’ finer nuances may sound as much Greek as “Thai-pongal Thirunal Valthukal” to a north Indian or “Shubho Pujo” to a south Indian.

Little did Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau know that his tweet: “Diwali Mubarak! We’re celebrating in Ottawa tonight. #HappyDiwali”, in English and French, using the Arabic word “Mubarak” for a Hindu festival, would land him on the wrong side of the “write” side of Diwali wishes. Sparks singed social mediascape, smacking of linguistic righteousness as trolls targeted him, “Mubarak is Arabic not Indian” or “Mixing Islamic and Hindu excellently illustrates ignorance.”

Tweeting tips for Trudeau — it’s cool to spout cross-culturalism, it’s cool to be tweeting many a greeting not just in English but also in French, but it may not be cool for a greeting style to be Greek to a global head.

As Justin’s friendly felicitations got stuck in semantics – the wisdom it spelt was: Better to do a crash course in politically correct Indian greetings, lest you spark Twitter fireworks Left Right centre. Rather than spouting felicitations that sound Greek, spell that Roman wisdom with desi twist: When in Instagram India, tweet as Indians do.

Lesson Two was for the cricketer known more for causing stadiums to explode into excitement when his bat is wont to do the talking. But, on Diwali, Yuvraj Singh triggered explosions on Twitter instead, with his tweet for cracker-free celebrations.

Trolls pronto posted pixel proofs of his designer wedding where there glowed more fireworks than the chains glittering on the gilt-edged frame of Bappi Lahiri. Yuvi got blasted, “On his wedding, crackers produced oxygen and Delhi was cracker-free #Hypocrites” to “Jab patako se pollution hota hai toh shaadi wale din speech kyu nahin diye bhai @BholeBamBhole.”

It was a moment straight out of David Dhawan’s ‘Judwaa 2’. The way a ball kicked into action by the hero upon landing on the villain’s skull acted to restore his memory loss, so did Yuvi’s tweet reactivate the collective memory cells of Tweeple.

Post-Diwali lesson for Yuvi: Never assume Tweeple to be suffering memory loss a la “raat gayi ba(r)at gayi”.

Lesson Three was for Bollywood ‘phuljharis’ trolled for pontificating against patakhas or crusading for “Chakri Kum”. Trolls taunted Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt & Co for double speak, “Please release a single movie without a single cracker, then come with advice...”

Trolls’ teaching for tinsel town: Just as ‘Half Girlfriend’ is an oxymoron, so also there’s no such thing as ‘Half Patakha’ or ‘Kabhi Ban Kabhi Bomb’!

(The author can be contacted at chetnabanerjee@gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal

First Published: Oct 29, 2017 15:10 IST