Queer scholar Kaushal Bodwal was brutally trolled on social media after he was seen in a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, wearing a bindi and a nosering.
Author and right-wing ideologue Shefali Vaidya tweeted a picture of Bodwal at the protest. She wrote, “How the heck can I unsee this? Sharing it to spread the misery. Why should I suffer alone?”
Vaidya's tweet faced severe backlash. Most users termed her comment as 'transphobic'. Actor Sidharth wrote, "I see a confident trans person living and expressing themselves. You can't. You are incapable of understanding the goddess within. All you can do is hate. Shame on you for being so vile."
I see a confident trans person living and expressing themselves. You can't. You are incapable of understanding the goddess within. All you can do is hate. Shame on you for being so vile. #Transphobia.— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) January 10, 2020
Please report this bigot to @twitter @jack https://t.co/9nlsfo6uyQ
Shefali Vaidya's tweet was later removed by Twitter for violating their rules.
Speaking with The News Minute, Kaushal Bodwal said that photo was taken at a protest sometime in December. Even before Vaidya tweeted it, people had begun trolling him. “The trolling has been happening for a while,” said Kaushal.
Kaushal said that trolling and abusing are society's reaction of feeling threatened by his queerness. He added that the society looks at queer people in a certain way and when they participate in protests, breaking the norms of society, society feels threatened.
Kushal said that the society understand bodies in a certain way. When a person has a beard, they think its a male and when they see a bindi, its a female. "But when they see queer and trans people, there is a rupture happening in the understanding of a body, and this threatens them,” he adds.