There is a growing movement of dissent against cyber-bullying on social media, and the lastest person to vocalise her concerns and raise her voice against this is Shaheen Bhatt. The author took to Instagram to share screenshots of hate messages and rape threats she has been receiving against her, her sister Alia Bhatt, and her entire family, warning that she will take legal action against her abusers.
Sharing the screenshots, Shaheen wrote: “Does this surprise you? Why? It doesn’t surprise me. So, I speak now to those of you who think it’s okay to send me or anyone messages full of hate: If you send me a message with the sole hope (I say hope because I promise you — nothing you say is keeping me up at night) of humiliating, insulting, or bullying me, then the following things will happen:
— You will forfeit the right to your privacy. I will NOT protect your identity. Every sh**ty message you send me will — should I choose to — go up for everyone to see. Abusers are emboldened by their anonymity. I will not help hide you.
— I WILL use all legal recourse available to me to take action. If you think you can’t be located because your account is anonymous, please think again.
— IP addresses are easily trackable. You are not invisible. Harassment is a crime.”
Shaheen and her family have been the target of troll on social media of late. This is largely due to a nepotism debate that has been raging on since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In the screenshots above, we can read the nasty, disturbing and horrifying content of the threats she has been receiving.
In a series of stories posted on Instagram, Shaheen further wrote:
“A country where rather than being raised on empathy, most people are raised with the explicit permission to hate. A country where a woman is either your mother, your sister, your wife or a wh**e. A country where not just men, but women feel like the worst thing you can call another woman is a s**t.”
“Because what better way to render a woman powerless than to make her ashamed of being a woman. Ashamed of being herself. Because if she weren’t a woman would she still be debased, humiliated and threatened with violence and violation every day?”
Freedom of speech means every person has a right to express their opinion. But when messages and comments turn violent and threatening, they cross a line and can fall under the realm of cybercrime. As Shaheen Bhatt threatens to take legal action, she sends a strong message to perpetrators, that cyberbullying and threats of violence against women will NOT be tolerated.