New Delhi: Delhi-based journalist Sushmita Sinha’s video criticising Hindu festival Teej created a furore on social media Wednesday, with many calling for her arrest.
Sinha, in the video, is seen holding a Hindu scripture, Hartalika Teej Katha, and asking viewers if she should use the book as a toilet paper or tissue paper as it “is of no use” to her.
“I have paid Rs 15 for this useless book, now it’s of no use to me. Now I am wondering if I should use this book as tissue paper or toilet paper. What do you think?” Sinha said in the video.
The book has Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on its cover.
Sinha is a former Bolta Hindustan journalist, who now works as a freelancer.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra expressed outrage over the video on Twitter, questioning the “secularism of leftists”.
“I just saw this video in social media, a woman wants to use Hindu scriptures as toilet paper… Can anyone tell me who this woman is… and what is the truth of this video? The scripture on which Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati have been inscribed is in the form of toilet paper… shame!,” Patra wrote.
मैंने अभी social media में यह विडीओ देखा,एक महिला हिंदू शास्त्रों को “Toilet-Paper” के रूप में इस्तेमाल करना चाहती है ..क्या मुझे कोई बता सकता है ये महिला कौन है ..और इस विडीओ की सच्चाई क्या है?
भगवान शिव और माँ पार्वती जिस शास्त्र पर अंकित हो उसे TOILET पेपर के रूप में ..धिक्कार pic.twitter.com/m5dGDg31C7
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) August 26, 2020
In another tweet, Patra said, “People have said that this woman is a journalist, her name is Sushmita. In Bengaluru, everybody outraged over Dalit boy, Naveen, but this video of Sushmita is freedom of expression… Why are these double standards?”
Patra was referring to P. Naveen Kumar, the nephew of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy, whose alleged Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad triggered riots in Bengaluru on 11 August.
“Do Hindus have no feelings, don’t Hindus get hurt? Is this the secularism of leftists?” Patra added.
लोगों ने बताया यह महिला एक पत्रकार है जिसका नाम सुस्मिता है
बेंगलुरु में दलित लड़के नवीन पर तो सब बरस रहें थे..मगर सुस्मिता का यह विडीओ अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी है ..ये दोहरे मापदंड क्यों?
क्या हिंदुओं की कोई भावना नहीं होती और हिंदू आहत नहीं हो सकता!
ये है वामपंथीयो का सेक्युलरिज़म? https://t.co/9qSzUME0ZO
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) August 26, 2020
ThePrint reached Patra through phone calls and text messages for a comment on the matter, but there was no response until the publication of this report.
Also read: Hindu society’s real enemy is a pseudo-Hindu — not those branded ‘sickulars’ or ‘libtards’
Issued ‘rape and death threats’
Sinha shared the 2.15-minute video initially on Instagram on 20 August, and later posted it on Facebook and YouTube.
However, the video doing the rounds on social media is just of 17 seconds duration.
This year, Teej was celebrated on 21 August. The festival is celebrated mostly in north India by married women, who fast to ensure their husbands live long lives, while unmarried women pray for good husbands.
Sinha told ThePrint: “I had spoken about the katha that is read while fasting on Teej. There are many misogynist rules in the book, like if you drink water during the fast, one will turn into a pig, or a widow, etc. I only read a page from the book that had all of these things.”
Sinha claimed she is now receiving death and rape threats.
“They (social media trolls) are telling me that they will find my house and burn it down, throw acid on my face and issuing rape threats,” she told ThePrint.
With the video going viral, #ArrestSushmitaSinha started trending on Twitter, and several users demanded to file police complaints against the journalist.
I request @DelhiPolice to#ArrestSushmitasinha asap and take a strong action against @BoltaHindustan for insulting hindu religious book and promoting the hate and spreading the lies…
Bolta has a register office in Delhi.
— khemchand sharma (@SharmaKhemchand) August 26, 2020
Details nikalte nikalte poori history geography nikal gayi is bandi ki. Patna/Dubai/Delhi tak ki. Love/Paisa/Dhoka movie bana sakte hain 😑#ArrestSushmitaSinha
— Vikas Pandey (@MODIfiedVikas) August 26, 2020
These so called liberals abuse Hindu Deities coz they feel that people won't file complaints.
The day people start filing complaints, such incidents will not be repeated. #ArrestSushmitasinha
— Gaurav Goel (@goelgauravbjp) August 26, 2020
Also read: Hinduism vs Hindutva debate ignores Hindu people, puts religion where it doesn’t exist
Still wondering why everybody hate liberals.?
I admire many faces in the print but i think there should be a thin line while expressing your”freedom of expression” too. Defaming religious entities are not new but this has became easy way for quick fame,but when it starts to haunt,they seek the “asylum of victimhood” people are recieving these shitty death or rape threats so much that these words have lost their credibility.. Remember you are playing with the double edge sword here
Great Job, Just do this with Kuran and next day you will not able to open your mouth because your will be dead. You dare to do this because Hindus lost pride for their religion and love for their God. Or they don’t have courage to teach the lesson to culprit like you.
I only want to know that in the opinion of the print is it freedom of expression to hurt the religious sensibilities of hindus?
The print is just a leftist and dumb news channel. I saw ur some posts and these seem that you are just a puppet of some jihadis and leftists. #sameontheprint.
This is a useless article which gives credence to this mad lady: She should be arrested and put behind bars for hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
It is interesting to note that there are ex-Hindus who don’t think twice before mocking and insulting Hindu gods and even don’t hesitate in saying that Hindu scriptures can be used as toilet paper; but there aren’t ex-Muslims who ridicule their religion or the Prophet in the same manner.
I wonder why.
India will only progress when women like her will be legion. We are not living in vedic age.
I do not understand the need for this. This is just to gain notoriety. Does anyone really care? Fasting is really not such a bad thing is it for the welfare of the Husband. In this day and age of political correctness, it is a matter of contention and misogyny. Fair enough do not do it. Is there anyone holding a gun to your head? This kind of antagonization of religion does not bode well for the liberal class. Instead of letting people do as they believe. The liberals are impinging on the freedoms of others via unwarranted criticism, publicized viral criticism and that. This can bring no good…
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