In July, Hindustan Times suspended one of its journalists, Srishti Jaswal, after Jaswal was accused of posting a "derogatory" tweet about the god Krishna. Hindustan Times had tweeted on July 2 that a "code of conduct committee" would "look into the matter".
Jaswal had subsequently apologised for her tweet on July 3, writing on Twitter that she had not intended to "maliciously denigrate Lord Krishna or to anyway outrage the feelings of my fellow Hindus...It was no intention of mine to hurt anybody's religious sentiments. I apologise if this has hurt anyone."
Now, in a longform piece for Stories Asia, Jaswal detailed how as a result of the tweet, she eventually lost her job and was at the receiving end of "multiple complaints" and "endless murder and rape threats".
Writing about a video sent to her by a troll online, she said: "In that video, flashing my photograph, a naked man was rejoicing in the most disgusting way that I had lost my job. I first saw that video an hour after midnight, in thick of darkness and it scared me to death. It got worse when I realised that several such messages were being viewed, celebrated and romanticised by thousands on the internet."
She added that her parents were also targeted: "My father could not go to work because of constant hounding. My heart sank every time I received a call from my parents because I was afraid that something might happen to them. They were so stressed."
Jaswal's piece had several stories of people like her, for whom "online trolling translates to offline persecution". This included how a GoAir trainee pilot was fired after a YouTuber a fake video about him.
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