Even as Chhattisgarh's activist-turned-political leader Soni Sori is undergoing treatment in Delhi after alleged attack on her with acid-like substance, messages praying for her recovery have been infiltrating Twitter and other social media platforms.
But, scroll down the micro-blogging site and you'll also see a number of posts mocking Sori for her “make-up”.
Tribal activist Soni Sori brought to Delhi for treatment after attack on her last night pic.twitter.com/4CDMLAqR3j— ANI (@ANI_news) February 21, 2016
As a quick recall, Sori is an Adivasi school teacher-turned-political leader in Sameli village of Dantewada in south Bastar, Chhattisgarh, who fought (and lost) 2014 general polls as AAP candidate. She came to prominence in 2011, when she was arrested for being a conduit for Maoists. She had later alleged torture and sexual harassment in custody.
Now, it is true that Sori's past remains controversial (she has been booked for rioting, Maoist activities and attacking a fellow politician among other charges). It is also true that one can't trust the photos alone, as whether the substance was acid or not, remains unknown. (The local police had dismissed it saying the substance was just grease diluted with chemical.)
But, one only has to look at some comments on the social media mocking Sori to realise how low people can stoop to over ideological rivalry. Here is a woman who says she is attacked - her skin is burning and she is unable to open her eyes - but some have chosen to trivialise the incident from the moment they heard the news. Why? Simpy because she does not subscribe to their political ideas. From deciding the attack was fake to accusing her of wearing make-up, trolls have done it all.
Just look at the tweets:
Soni Sori right after the attack and a day later at the presser: pic.twitter.com/BjrjBRO3bH— Barbarian Indian (@barbarindian) February 21, 2016
And this year's Oscar for Best Makeup goes to..... https://t.co/xS73wqyyYp— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) February 22, 2016
These, and many more such posts, go on to show how survivors often find their experiences trivialised, their allegations mocked at. Victims of such incidents have spoken of the horror, and told us how it has left them scarred for a lifetime. In Sori's case, even if it turns out that the chemical used for Sori was "just grease", it is horrible still. Mocking Sori for "faking it", is not just offensive but also sets a dangerous precedent for others.
But it is fortunate that some on twitter are echoing this, like this user who replied to one such tweet pointing out that was in bad taste: