Here’s what we know so far about the two apps called Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai. Sulli Deals was an open-source tech tool created in July 2021. Sulli Deals had uploaded, without permission, the photographs, including some doctored ones, of 100 Muslim women, putting out their pictures for a supposed online auction. The tech tool no doubt had the intent to degrade women of a particular community.
A similar tech tool was launched in November 2021 and then updated again on January 1st of this year, this one called Bulli Bai and once again hosting illegally-used photographs of Muslim women for “online auction”. Both tech tools were hosted at a site called GitHub and developed using the open-source code available at the site.
Unlike with many cases of the past like the Sunanda Pushkar case, the Shaheen Bagh illegal protest, or anti-Hindu Delhi riots, this time action was prompt, and a Department of the Delhi Police called the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) carried out quick investigations so as to identify the main culprits.
As one twitter user remarked, the Delhi police who were hands off during Shaheen Bagh were very prompt in action this time around:
Just your average day in Indian Republic. 'Trad-Group' has been mentioned as if it's some sort of crime syndicate like Sicilian Mafia or Narco Cartel and the police have achieved a big breakthrough. The same Delhi Police couldn't lift their fingers when Shaheen Bag happened. https://t.co/gGgNU9qpms
— Satish Verma (@satoverma) January 9, 2022
The mastermind behind the Sulli Deals app is allegedly Aumkareshwar Thakur who was arrested from Indore. The mastermind behind the Bulli Bai app is allegedly Niraj Bishnoi who was arrested from Assam. Additionally, two others allegedly associated with the Bulli Bai app, Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawal were arrested from Uttarakhand. Vishal Kumar Jha was taken in from Bengaluru. The latest arrest was that of Neeraj Singh who was arrested from Odisha.
Apparently, Aumkareshwar Thakur self-identifies as a trad. On twitter the nomenclature trad has come into existence over the last few years, although no one can define for sure what a trad represents. This write-up provides some information to those who want to understand the trad-raita categorization among online Hindus. At its most simplistic, the trad label applies to a section of Hindus who are culturally conservative, mostly holding traditional views. But cultural conservatives in the west have not been as demonized or ridiculed as their Hindu counterparts here, thanks to worldwide Hinduphobia that also exists domestically within our borders.
For our illiberal left, the trad nomenclature has become yet another slur to run down practicing Hindus who respect their shastras and traditions. And as the tweet quoted above says, the Trad group was demonized almost as if it was a crime syndicate like the Mafia or a Narco cartel!
As this report states, not many news agencies have reported on the fetishization and objectification of Hindu women that is far more commonplace. Such objectification of Hindu women using pornographic images has been taking place on sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and even Twitter, using the hashtag #Hslut4Mstud which means “Hindu slut for Muslim stud.” Another report has shared many such images which objectify Hindu women and some are accompanied by sexually explicit content in text form. In some cases, the hashtag used is #interfaithxx. The media was largely silent on such targeting of Hindu women in a most crude and vulgar manner.
But one can’t deny that both Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai apps were also in bad taste. At the same time, no one was physically harmed, nor was it intended. This does not mean that such harassment and targeting should be condoned or tolerated whether the targeted women are Hindus or Muslims. At the same time, crimes need to be looked at in terms of their severity.
Torture and lynching of Lakhbir Singh by so-called farmers should ideally count as the worst of the worst, deserving nothing less than a death penalty. Similarly, rapes or stalking and murder of girls like Nikita Tomar should be considered far more severe than harassing women online on Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, or GitHub.
We must have standards where severe crimes are treated accordingly by law-enforcement, courts, and media. Apparently the Nihangs who committed the horrendous crime of lynching Lakhbir Singh had been seeking anticipatory bail, which had been refused. The current status on the arrest of the four accused is not clear. Even ISIS terrorists who return to Bharat are given a hearing and empathy by our courts and even granted bail!
Unfortunately, the media outrage and frenzy is never proportionate based on severity of crimes but appears to be determined by whether Hindus can be demonized. Compare the media frenzy and coverage of the BulliBai issue vis-a-vis five full years of Akhilesh rule between 2012 and 2017 during which hundreds of Hindu women were targets of actual physical violence and rape by Muslim perpetrators. During SP rule, such episodes were routine.
And as always, observe the alacrity with which the minority “victimhood experts” immediately spring into action presenting these fringe episodes as the norm to paint all of Hindu society as vile.
These minority victimhood experts have never spoken on abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls in Pakistan. Nor did one observe a similar media frenzy each time a Hindu girl in Pakistan was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam although at least a 1000 such abductions have been taking place each year for several years now. Forget Pakistan, such grooming of Hindu minors or outright abductions are increasingly common place in Bharat too.
Abduction of a minor, forcible marriage to a much older man, forced confinement, and forced conversion are severe crimes but the media glosses over such episodes even if they are reported at all. And the media doesn’t make any effort to keep such crimes alive in public memory while it is going overboard in the reportage of Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai. For example, no one even knows where forcibly abducted minor Rinkle Kumari or 10,000 other girls like her are today.
And even though the Sulli Deals is a recent incident, it has a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it. Surprisingly, Wikipedia has no similar page listing the trials and tribulations of the Yazidi women who were brutalized by Islamist ISIS men and made sex slaves.
The question therefore is, why is the far worse fetishization, stalking and actual sexual violence perpetrated on Hindu and other non-Muslim women by Islamists always kept off the radar? Such episodes are common whether in Bharat, United Kingdom, Pakistan, or Bangladesh.
The excessive propaganda over the Bulli Bai app is a classic example of how global majorities with powerful ecosystems to back them can cherry-pick isolated issues to peddle fake narratives to demonize Hindus and other indigenous groups. At the same time, these propagandists are deafeningly silent on grave crimes perpetrated by radicalized members of their own communities such as daily abductions of Hindu minor girls in Pakistan and elsewhere. The real crimes of these global majorities remain masked and unspoken of.