Hoist by His Own Petard
It’s been a bad week for Ashish Kaul, erstwhile Twitter troll. A recent missive in his standard, charming style began “I love when Kashmiri Muslim women cry on roads”. His celebration of the murder, rape and maiming of women caused sufficient outrage to force Twitter to suspend his account, his American employer to fire him, and the police to file an FIR. Defenders of free speech will, correctly, point out that people should be allowed to air their opinions, however profoundly violent, stupid and offensive. But the right to an opinion cannot and should not protect you from real world consequences. Part of living in a still-diverse democracy is a compact to respect fellow citizens. Kaul’s pantomime villain act on social media may have won him friends among the keyboard Hindutva army but he appears to have confused the persona with the person. Twitter is a nest of vipers, so venom is perhaps only to be expected. Nice though on occasion to see bullies get their comeuppance. Now what do we do about our politicians?