Friday, September 18, 2020

Comedian Agrima Joshua brutally takes down abusers

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Mumbai: In a major takedown of internet trolls, stand-up comedian, Agrima Joshua who faced flak for reportedly insulting Chatrapati Shivaji, has been outing those who have been sending her abusive messages. The Mumbai-based comedian has been posting all such offensive messages on her Instagram and Twitter handles, resulting in some of the men even apologising to her.

Internet trolls, who are primarily young men claiming to “protect Indian culture”, ca be found on social media targeting women and anyone they disagree with. But it is not often that we see people pulling them up for their shenanigans and abuse. On Wednesday, August 26, Joshua shared a series of screenshots on her Instagram stories where many users were seen apologizing to her for their abusive comments. 

This was after she first made their vile direct messages public. Joshua, who is originally from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, was adamant that she would not let abusers get away scott-free. In one of her Instagram stories, Joshua stated that she was not going to show any sympathy or forgive those people who abused her. 

Not only that, she also tagged the Mumbai Police and its Cyber Crime department in her stories, essentially asking the police to look into the matter. In her performance video which went viral earlier, Agrima spoke about Chhatrapati Shivaji’s upcoming statue in Maharashtra and the funny rumors about the statue on the Q&A website Quora. 

She was seen describing the “funny things” she read on Quora about the same statue, “It will also have GPS tracker and it will shoot laser rays out of its eyes to shoot Pakistani terrorists” and “this Shivaji statue is an amazing masterstroke by Prime Minister”, were some of the things she described as what she read on the website.

Several people have claimed that the 2019 video was “offensive” towards Shivaji and had hurt the sentiments of Marathi people. Seeing the outrage against her on social media, Joshua later issued an apology in which she wrote that she was sorry for having hurt the sentiments of followers of Chatrapati Shivaji. However, she continued receiving vile abuse and threats on her social media handles.

According to media reports, the Vadodara and Mumbai police have arrested four people so far for abusing and giving rape threats to Joshua. The accused had told the police that they were inspired by Vikas Phatak aka Hindustani Bhau, who was also known for putting up absolutely filthy, defamatory, and disrespectful videos. Bhau’s Instagram and Facebook profiles have since been suspended for violating community guidelines. 

Shubham Mishra, one of the four persons who had who posted an abusive video threatening gang-rape against Agrima, had later deleted the video after another comedian Kunal Kamra raised the issue with the National Commission for Women. Mishra later posted a story on his Instagram account telling him that he deleted the same video and that his “intention” was not to threaten anybody. 

Earlier, after Mishra’s videos has surfaced, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had urged the cyber cell to look into the matter and take legal action against Joshua if necessary. At the same time, he also warned netizens against abusing and threatening women. Desmukh had also said that Shivaji taught his followers to respect women.

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