I recently read about two Indian female celebs talk about child sexual abuse. Actress Kalki Koechlin and journalist Barkha Dutt revealed that they were sexually abused as a child. I was shocked to read their revelations but I was even more shocked to read the comments on the article/post. I happened to read about Kalki’s experience before the release of her film ‘Margarita with a Straw’ and some of the comments were like:

“Oh, why do celebs suddenly remember their sexual abuse experiences before their film’s release?”

“She is so ugly. I don’t care if she was sexually abused.”

Kalki was shocked to read the comments as well and she said that she has been talking about the traumatic experiences since a long time. It’s true that some celebs are attention-seeking. We can never know whether Kalki was speaking the truth or not. But isn’t it interesting that we call celebs cheap because of an assumption that they are lying about horrific experiences, but we don’t consider ourselves cheap for judging them so harshly?

The more powerful the person, the more the trolls attack them. Barkha Dutt, of course, is not new to this. Barkha is probably the most trolled Indian celeb on social media. I feel that the intensity of attack is more when the celeb happens to be a woman. So when Barkha revealed that she was sexually abused as a child by an adult, people called her ‘anti-nationalist’. Sometimes hatred can make you so blind and insensitive that you forget that the child sexual abuse is a serious thing. You don’t have to like Barkha or Kalki. But I guess there should be some decency when someone is discussing a sensitive topic.

What do trolls get out of this, I wonder? Do they feel powerful because they slammed a powerful person? Most people don’t have power. They hate their jobs and probably a lot of other things in their lives. Maybe they feel that celebs are having better lives, just because they are more famous and have more money? So when you are anonymous, you can take down the powerful…without any serious risk. But the very fact that you are investing so much of your precious time in judging someone’s character or motives, proves that the person is a threat to your cherished beliefs.

I guess what differentiates trolls from critics is the personal attacks. Critics discuss ideas, the content of what the other person is saying. Trolls on the other hand have low self-esteem and they are just looking for others to mess up things, so that they can attack and feel better about themselves. Critics are passionate, but they are not too attached to their opinions. Trolls will do everything they can to prove that others are wrong. Critics don’t do that because they are confident. How to spot a troll? Critic will say “Your idea has a flaw” and troll will say, “you are a flawed and worthless human being”. A troll believes that you are superior to him/her, so he/she keeps telling you that you are inferior to him/her.

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