Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar quit Twitter on Tuesday over the growing negativity on the social media site. The actor, who has over a million followers on the platform, told TNM that it was a move to preserve her own sanity. The actor has frequently been the target of sexist and Islamophobic abuse on the platform and is well-known for deftly putting down trolls on Twitter.
Speaking to TNM, she said, “The negativity on Twitter was consuming me. I was becoming who I am not. I had to [quit] for my own sanity and keep it intact. I am not somebody who quits because of the trolls. For me, as a person, it is important that I remain who I am.”
In April 2018, Khushbu changed her name on Twitter to “khushbusundar..and it's NAKHAT KHAN for the BJP..” to give it back to supporters of the national ruling party who regularly harassed and trolled her with her alias. She is currently a national spokesperson for the Congress party.
When asked if she needed to be on the platform to be in touch with her political supporters, she asked, “Which leaders were made through Twitter? None of the leaders we look up to, even the most well-known among them, were built on Twitter. So it’s not necessary.”
Calling for regulatory oversight over abuse on the platform, especially against women, Khushbu says, “Regulation definitely needs to be brought in. You say that there is democracy. If you use your democratic powers to abuse me, I should be given the same powers to do the same to you. Just because I am a celebrity or a politician does not mean I should not be able to enjoy the perks of being in a democratic country.”
“I keep giving interviews. I am in constant touch with the press. If there is anything important, people will get to know. There have always been ways of conveying messages to the people. You don’t have to be on a social platform,” she says on remaining in touch.
Moreover, the actor is still available on Instagram. “The negativity hasn’t engulfed Insta as yet. I continue to be there,” she adds.