The draft has now started to reach the public and the problems with the controversial draft have been highlighted by many, including environmental activists and political parties. One among these is a YouTuber Padma Priya who goes by the name Chennai Tamizhachi. She had put out a video highlighting the issues out of the controversial drafts and voiced her opinion on the same.
However, she was immediately subject to unbearable social media harrassment including lewd comments from BJP leader Kalyan who had asked for her personal details on social media. Following a series of derogatory comments, Padma Priya left social media platforms. She also took down her video with regards to the topic. Eventually she put out another video which talked about the harrassment, misogyny and the sexist remakes the YouTuber had to face. Her family were also threatened and harrassed.
In the first video, Padma Priya had talked about how the proposed EIA can lead to India losing its natural resources. In the new video, she says that her family feels intimidated by the threats and that she was forced to delete the first video because of this.
Talking about this, Priya stated, “For them (trolls) EIA is not the content, I who posted the video on EIA have become the content. The problem is not me, but whether the EIA is good or bad for the people. I spoke as a member of the public. I spoke on an issue that the public did not speak about and it has reached the public now, is that their problem?I have raised my question in this democratic land and you should answer the questions instead of targeting me.”
“Just think about the pressure my family and friends would have faced and think about the mental pressure the issue would have caused to a woman. The men who carry out campaigns of hate speech never think about this, that’s why I removed the videos. I had social pressures! Since they did not find any personal information about me, they started to comment on the beauty videos posted by me. They’re saying that I’m talking without an understanding of the subject. What do you know about me? I have always raised my voice for issues against women and children,” she continued in her video.
The fact the Padma Priya was a woman mattered more to the trolls than the fact that she has a Freedom of Expression in a democratic land. From being called “senseless” to connecting her alliance with several political Parties, she has seen and read it all. Earlier this month, actors Suriya and Karthi were also targeted for the same, however, what Padma Priya faced was tinged with gender inequality so much so that many stooped to assassinate her character like they knew her personally.
In a democratic Nation with over 1 Billion people, women still do not stand a chance to voice their opinion freely. And if they do, they and their families are shamed in every which way possible.