Bollywood celebrity Javed Akhtar openly came out in support of the Bulli Bai mastermind citing her age and situation as mitigating factors
NEW DELHI – Soon after the Mumbai Police tracked down two youths and a girl behind the Bulli Bai, an avalanche of sympathy started pouring in for the culprits. There was a desperate attempt on the social media from people including Bollywood celebrity Javed Akhtar to shore up sympathy for the offenders citing their younger age and social situation.
The Mumbai Police arrested 21-year-old engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha from Bangalore, 18-year-old girl Shweta Singh and 21-year-old Mayank Jaiswal from Uttarakhand. Shweta Singh, who is the mastermind behind the Bulli Bai, is said to have lost both her parents last year to covid-19 and cancer. Many nettizens came forward to invoke sympathy for them citing their younger ages and social situations.
Priti Gandhi, who described herself as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, is among those whose hearts goes out to the culprits. Citing her age and loss of parental care, Gandhi said Singh is not a terrorist, and hence should be “counselled” and “reformed” rather than sending to jail.
If an 18yr old girl who recently lost both her parents (one to cancer, the other to #Covid19) has indulged in an immoral activity then she should be counselled & reformed. She is not a terrorist. It is not a point of no return. Her reformation will be the real victory. #BulliBai
— Priti Gandhi – प्रीति गांधी (@MrsGandhi) January 5, 2022
However, many pointed to her earlier tweets where she mocked at the younger age of activists like Disha Ravi, Sharjeel Imam and comedian Munawar Farooqi exposing her double-standards.
Priti Gandhi Vs Priti Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/WxyPGr2m5h
— PuNsTeR™ (@Pun_Starr) January 5, 2022
She was also slammed for deliberately calling the activity as immoral instead of criminal which warrants legal action.
21, not 18
Not immoral activity, criminal activity
People are sent to jail to reform only.
Law is equal for all.. She isn’t going to jail for life. I hope she comes out in couple of years, at the age of 23 a better, reformed person with whole life in front of her. https://t.co/9sZUK2eEUS
— Sumit Kashyap (@sumitkashyapjha) January 5, 2022
Wonder if she showed such “compassion” for students targeted by the state for daring to dissent.
Clearly, compassion is only reserved towards criminals targeting Muslims, for their ilk. https://t.co/orC1uGtQhJ
— Trisha Shetty (@TrishaBShetty) January 5, 2022
Bollywood writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar openly came out in support of the Bulli Bai mastermind and made an appeal to show “compassion” and “forgive” her by citing her younger age and loss of her parents.
If “ bully bai” was really masterminded by an 18 year old girl who has recently lost her parents to cancer n Corona I think the women or some of them meet her and like kind elders make her understand that why what ever she did was wrong . Show her compassion and forgive her .
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) January 5, 2022
Akhtar, who quite often makes attempts at appeasing Hindutva brigade by whipping up Islamophobic sentiments, took three days to condemn the Bulli Bai auction and took more than 10 days to condemn the genocidal speeches made at Haridwar’s Dharm Sansad.
Even while condemning the Bulli Bai, Javed Akhtar cleverly tried to conceal the religious identity of the victims, which happens to be the prime motive behind the Islamophobic crime. On the other hand, it took him just hours to make an appeal for sympathy in favour of the culprits behind the Bulli Bai.
Akhtar’s appeal for compassion for the culprits angered many including the victims of the online harassment.
Journalist Fatima Khan, one of the victims of Bulli Bai, slammed Akhtar saying he would have the right to forgive the culprits if the victim would target him.
Remember that time Javed Akhtar was being sold online on something called Sulli Deals/ Bulli Bai, and then he chose to forgive the perpetrators, which was his prerogative as the victim
….oh wait. https://t.co/S87JrSQ2JT
— Fatima Khan (@khanthefatima) January 5, 2022
Another victim Irena Akhbar also slammed Akhtar for humanising a vile extremist.
*Many people lose parents at a young age. They don’t become criminals.
*I am among the 100 Muslim women who were ‘auctioned’ on the app & I reject your attempt to humanise a vile extremist & ‘forgive’ her.
*Keep your Hindu appeasement dance to yourself. Don’t drag us along. https://t.co/N0ywclkt1d
— Irena Akbar (@irenaakbar) January 5, 2022
Journalist and author Seema Goswami criticised Akhtar by asking how loss of parents at a younger age could be an excuse for criminal behaviour.
Could not disagree with this more.
I lost my father at a young age. That did not turn me into a hate monger. Or make me dehumanise other women.
Bereavement is a tragedy. It is not an excuse for criminal behaviour. https://t.co/52UzZ4d0fV
— Seema Goswami (@seemagoswami) January 5, 2022
Some people also pointed to the double-standards set by Akhtar by showing him his previous tweets where he opposed the clemency for Kashmiri students suspended for cheering Pakistan.
— Alishan Jafri (@alishan_jafri) January 5, 2022
Popular Anchor Rahul Kanwal was slammed for attempting to strike a chord for sympathy towards the culprits by citing their younger age. He was reminded of his targeting of Muslim kids who had to stay put in a hostel due to sudden lockdown.
.@rahulkanwal was “hunting down” Muslim kids (some of them orphan) who had nowhere to go except Madarsas in Covid lockdown. But he is now humanising, and whitewashing hindu bigots. Shamless! https://t.co/IB2SBbQKDD
— Nabiya Khan | نبیہ خان (@NabiyaKhan11) January 5, 2022
RahulK has an insider’s perspective as a leading RW propagandist and ardent Modi-Yogi fanboy.
Maybe he’s implying a wider conspiracy, by ‘masterminds’ elsewhere who drew up the list of 100+ targets & that #ShwetaSingh is just a loyal footsoldier obeying orders (from the ITcell)? https://t.co/DAXU6SakwS
— Rakesh Sharma (@rakeshfilm) January 5, 2022