Trolling election candidates on social media seems to be the fad these days, especially in the ongoing local body polls in Kerala. Now it's the turn of Henna Maria Kennedy, the BJP candidate for the Kalamassery Municipality polls in Ernakulam district. This bubbly 22-year old has been the target of trolls -both mild and severe- in many Facebook posts, all for her modelling past.
An engineering graduate in Electronics and Communication, Henna is the BJP candidate from St.Joseph’s Ward in the Kalamassery Municipality. She was the runner-up in the 2011 Navy Queen contest held in Kochi and had also made it to the semifinals of last year’s Femina Miss India contest.
Facebook posts criticising Henna for her alleged involvement with the Kiss of Love movement in Kerala and her candidacy for BJP, ironically a vociferous opponent of the same movement, have being doing the rounds for the past few days on social media. Her photographs in Western dresses too were being circulated on social media platforms. Those targeting her wanted to know how BJP could field someone who seemed to embody an ideology contrary to theirs.
Some of the trolls have juxtaposed the two pictures questioning the BJP
However Henna seems unfazed by such criticism. Speaking to TNM, she says that people have crossed all limits in criticising her. “First of all I have nothing to do with the Kiss of Love campaign. I was not part of that movement and I have not supported it,” she emphasises. According to her, people opposed to her entering the political arena have used photographs from when she used to walk the ramp as a model, just to malign her.
“People used very abusive language in the posts. They have used a picture of mine in which I was wearing a short dress. This is too much…that was a photo taken 4 years before and I was a model then,” she clarifies.
She considers modelling a mere hobby which in no way supersedes her passion for social service. Irked over people viewing her as a model alone, she elaborates, “I am an engineering graduate. These trolls see me just as a model. Modelling was my hobby once. It’s wholly my personal decision and others have nothing to do with it”.
However, Henna does not seem unduly perturbed by such rancour. She prefers to focus on plans she has in mind about the development of her municipality, if she wins. Whatever maybe her perceived shortcomings on social media, this is one youngster who believes in taking the opposition head-on.