New Delhi: Not even a day has passed since the last rites of Brigadier Lakhbinder Singh Lidder were performed, but his daughter, Aashna Lidder, has become a target for bullies on social media platform Twitter.
Several Twitter users targeted Aashna Lidder after “going through” her profile and trolled her for being “opinionated” and “woke”. Her account was deactivated after the trolling.
‘Woke’ is a term used to denote a person who is politically or culturally aware.
On Friday, NDTV journalist Arvind Gunasekar tweeted that the 16-year-old had deactivated her account owing to the harassment she faced on the social media platform.
This is what these right wing / hate groups achieved today.
Aashna Lidder has deactivated her account.
More power to you @AashnaLidder.
Stay strong. Return soon ! pic.twitter.com/5gWqCbBUxJ
— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) December 10, 2021
Aashna’s Twitter account, with the username @aashnalidder, was tagged by retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi during Aashna’s book launch on 27 November this year.
At the book Release ‘In Search of a Title by Aashna Lidder @AashnaLidder.
Super creativity at this young age. Long way to go. A versatile poet in the making.
—A daughter of the Defence Forces. pic.twitter.com/gUTMsOxZVk
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) November 27, 2021
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Series of Twitter attacks
Due to the deactivation of the account, ThePrint couldn’t check Aashna’s tweets, but some users have shared screenshots.
Niraj Bhatia, national executive of the Congress’ digital initiative With Congress, shared a screenshot of a tweet in which Aashna had expressed her disbelief at a statement of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath which was directed towards Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.
“Woke up to watching Yogi Adityanath undermine the opposition. I get it. This is politics. But it is absolutely cheap and not okay to say things like “she’s only capable of sweeping floor. I mean, wow, toothless tiger doesn’t stop roaring, truly. Yogi, clear the turmoil in UP first,” read her tweet.
Just coz of having different political view and speaking for @priyankagandhi in past ,#AashnaLidder daughter of Shaheed Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh Lidder, who got killed in Kunnur helicopter crash has been targeted by RW bhakts to the level that she has deactivated her profile. pic.twitter.com/EgjKdEU7bR
— Niraj Bhatia (@bhatia_niraj23) December 10, 2021
On an unrelated tweet posted by a Supreme Court advocate Aankhi GM, some people talked about woke kids, where Aashna’s matter also turned up. A user named @okaytep said “even military kids end up being ‘woke’. So there’s more to it than just imbibing the feeling or having that experience”.
To this, another user named @dunk_memer responded that Aashna was also woke — he saw it after going through her timeline.
While @okaytep has made his Twitter account private, @dunk_memer’s account ceased to exist.
Ankhi had responded to these two, saying that she also went through Aashna’s timeline and called her “confused at best”.
“She added that Aashna was in the “most vulnerable and impressionable age in a city like Delhi” and that when kids like her enter college they should be “treated sensitively and course corrected”.
She also added that attacking her on social media was not the answer.
She's 16! She's in the most vulnerable impressionable age bracket in a city like Delhi. Peer pressure is huge ! I'm not surprised and I don't blame her. Attacking them is not the answer. When these kids step into college they have to be handled sensitively and be course corrected
— Aankhi (@AankhiGM) December 10, 2021
Another user with the name Er. AV Kashyap, had said, “This is what woke culture can do to you, even if you’re a military brat, more so if you’re a daughter of a fallen hero”. The tweet has been deleted, but its screenshot was shared by AltNews fact-checker Mohammed Zubair.
'Daughter of Fallen hero'? 'Woke' 'Radical Left' 'Next Gurmeher Kaur'… Aur kitna defend karega bhai? @BefittingFacts 🤔 https://t.co/inlV7uvrNs pic.twitter.com/awujzENS3O
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) December 10, 2021
Twitter user Biswaroop S went a step further and said “with utmost responsibility” that Lidder was on her way to become the next Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of the Late Captain Mandeep Singh, who was martyred during Operation Rakshak in 1999. Kaur is also critical of the government and is criticised by pro government voices.
She is next Gurmeher Kaur in making (I'm saying this with utmost reponsibility)
Go and Read her tweets
— Biswarup B (@_itsRUP) December 10, 2021
It’s not that Aashna received only hate on Twitter for her views. She was lauded by many for her speech on Father’s Day last year.
In that speech she spoke about how proud she was of her father, about patriotism and how she grew up in the Indian Army. The short speech was shared by the Twitter user named Kaveri.
This is Aashna Lidder.
Woke. Opinionated. Fearless.
No wonder they fear her.
I am proud of her. You should be too. pic.twitter.com/ZR4uJSEPiM
— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) December 10, 2021
The tweet posted by news agency ANI in which Aashna spoke about the loss of her father received over 55,000 likes.
“I am going to be 17. So he was with me for 17 years, we will go ahead with happy memories. It’s a national loss. My father was a hero, my best friend. Maybe it was destined and better things will come our way. He was my biggest motivator”, she told the news agency.
I am going to be 17. So he was with me for 17 years, we will go ahead with happy memories. It's a national loss. My father was a hero, my best friend. Maybe it was destined and better things will come our way. He was my biggest motivator: Aashna Lidder, daughter of Brig LS Lidder pic.twitter.com/4BhT4GSwTj
— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2021
People sent their blessings in reply, with many saying that they were proud of her brave spirit.
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)
This report has been updated to reflect that Aankhi’s tweet on compulsory military service was not related to Aashna Lidder’s case.
Also read: Are trolls the new ombudsman or are they a nuisance Indian media has to live with?