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Voices Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 05:30

While we prepared to bid goodbye to the day, former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam bid the country farewell on the night of July 27.

Tributes poured in and Bollywood was not to be left far behind.

Actors Anuskha Sharma and Farhan Akhtar both tweeted commiserations but messed up a bit. While Anushka goofed up twice, both the actors dished out references to the Congress freedom-fighter Abul Kalam Azad and added “Azad” to the former President’s name.

Social media does not forgive easily, and screenshots of their blunders started doing the rounds.




For our benefit, the nation’s conscience-keeper Kamaal KRK Khan had the wherewithal to save these mistakes and provide necessary proof.

Incidentally, Anushka Sharma got “trolled” whereas Akhtar was not so much, and the former issued an apology too. 

She issued the apology and also took a jibe at "cowards" because most of us chose to get back at the actress for her folly while Farhan was largely spared the rod. 

Reeks of sexism?

Trolls have been pretty chuffed lately. Several female celebrities have been cannon fodder for them.

Actors Shruti Seth and Neha Dhupia were subject to vehement abuse online after their attempts at politicking, not that it isn’t their right to. The fact remains though that we look at our female celebrities from a particular prism, almost wait for a goof up and wait for an opportunity to come up with the wittiest memes or one-liners to suit the occasion.

Does Alia Bhatt have a low IQ? We wouldn’t know, but a social media consensus would read ‘blonde’. Who gave us the right really?

Kudos to Bhatt though for having the gall to make fun of herself.

In a recent blog which received much bashing online, Chetan Bhagat referred to trolls as those who are sexually frustrated. While the piece itself was replete with generalizations, one thing that Bhagat may have got right is that we have plenty of time on our hands.

Adding to that is our patriarchal upbringing that would suggest that women should not really be voicing opinions or even comments, and if they are, and mess up a bit, we like to point a finger and have the condescending laugh.

There is also the hint of perverseness, and while the "intellectual troll" will criticise you for lacking a grey area, the "pervert troll" will make a brief appearance on your timeline. They will take a dig at your anatomy or tell you why they dig your anatomy and be off.  

What may have also missed the attention of these bandwagon-jumpers is the fact that a few reporters got the former President’s name wrong live on air. We are pretty sure they knew he wasn’t “Abdul Kalam Azad”, but point that out and in return; your kind gets an honorary #Presstitute moniker for their mantelpiece.  

The point being that we do make mistakes sometimes, and while celebrities should take a deep breath and use Google a bit more, our tweet-happy flock should go easy on the outrage button.

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