Juby Joseph and her family are fed up. No, they don't want your sympathy. In fact, they don't want anything from any of us except to be left alone. For the past few days, several people who are in dire need of a hobby or engagement in some kind of productive activity, have been passing around Juby's wedding photographs and creating a rumour for reasons best known to them.
Though these people do not know Juby in real life, they have made several assumptions about her and her newlywed spouse Anoop Sebastian. Ah well, in WhatsApp University, every forward is the gospel truth and those who receive the message loath to apply their own good sense to question it. From NASA sending photographs of Deepavali night to an unsuspecting couple's wedding photos.
In Juby and Anoop's case, this is the forward which has been doing the rounds: â€śWomanâ€™s age 48â€¦ Manâ€™s age 25â€¦ Womanâ€™s asset worth Rs 25 croreâ€¦ Dowry 101 sovereigns Rs 50 lakhâ€¦ The rest will followâ€¦ A marriage that happened in our own Cherupuzha.â€ť
This message has been circulating on WhatsApp ever since a photo of the couple appeared in the matrimonial column of a Malayalam newspaper. Juby Joseph from Chembanthotti and Anoop Sebastian from Cherupuzha, both in Kannur, got married on February 4. Several people, though, have put on their detective hat and deduced from the photograph that the marriage is "problematic" because Juby "looks older" than Anoop. What's more, they have applied their regressive minds to calculate an imaginary dowry that Juby's family must have doled out.
Such has been the harassment over this issue that the couple has decided to file a police complaint. Kannur District Superintendent of Police told TNM that the police will take cognisance of the forwards and trace the sender.
For those interested in facts (and we know that's a slim minority), Juby is 27 years old and Anoop is 29. Their parents arranged the match. The two of them liked each other and got married - end of story. While Anoop works in Chandigarh, Juby works in Sharjah.
The families of the couple learnt about the trolling and harassment through their friends and relatives in India and Sharjah. In fact, Juby saw these messages only on Thursday, when her husband Anoop reluctantly informed her, a source close to the family told TNM. Anoop has even been receiving fake calls.
Juby is set to return to Sharjah in two days, but she, Anoop and their families are resolute on finding the person who started the WhatsApp message that snowballed into a volley of abuses and rumours.
â€śWe will definitely bring this person to justice because this is not only a fight for Juby but for other women across the globe who are subjected to unwarranted and unnecessary abuses. The police will apprehend the culprit in a day or two,â€ť the source said.
If you are one of those anonymous keyboard warriors intent on invading other people's privacy, we suggest that you keep your opinions to yourself. Women like Juby are not taking it lying down any more, and it's time you woke up and smelt the coffee.