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‘Better to be TikTok-er than a rioter’ – Delhi violence has divided TikTok users

When CAA-NRC violence broke out, TikTok users put up a show of unity. Now they are asking why Delhi is rioting if it gets free electricity and water.

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Whether it’s a national emergency like the CAA-NRC protests or an international emergency like the coronavirus, the microblogging app TikTok always has the most creative content to offer. Indian TikTok-ers stay united, even in the times of political polarisation. For instance, during nationwide CAA-NRC protests in India, users were setting examples of love between Hindus and Muslims. But what happened after the Delhi riots?

I watched hundreds of videos to know what exactly TikTok-ers – mostly Indian millennials – are saying.

Hashtags on Delhi riots have millions of views

Hashtags such as Delhi riots, Delhi violence 2020 and anti-Hindu Delhi riots started emerging after 25 February. Although anti-Hindu Delhi riots have gotten only 11 views till now, the other hashtags have gone viral and have more than 20 lakh views. Vikas, who has used the hashtag ‘anti-Hindu Delhi riots’, says in his bio – “I am dangerous for your ignorance”.

It is worth mentioning that teenage boys with colourful hair and funny T-shirts were seen with iron rods on the roads of northeast Delhi during the riots. Some were setting fire to vehicles and recording videos for their TikTok accounts. Later these videos made their way to the app.

Also read: Om Shanti Om to Helen: TikTok users are taking ‘man-woman’ Bollywood songs & going queer

‘Better be a TikTok-er than a rioter’

Urban Indians, who often mock TikTok-ers, took to Twitter and wrote – ‘It would be better if you created TikToks, not riots’. Some asked how their minds were poisoned.

It is to be noted that during CAA-NRC violence in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi, TikTok-ers won hearts by making videos on Hindu-Muslim unity. In many TikTok videos, Hindu men are seen protecting Muslim men who are praying. Such videos became a trend. There are more than two crore views on CAA-NRC hashtags. But this time, the divide between Hindus and Muslims is visible on TikTok too.

Videos of Hindu Sher’ YogiModi and Shah are viral

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath have huge fan following on TikTok. Some Hindu users often share threatening videos featuring ‘Hindu Sher (tiger)’ Yogi, Modi and Shah.

This time, Muslim users are replying to this attack, saying the Delhi riots are not attacks on masjids but on their hearts.

Also read: Left and liberals should stop looking for the perfect victim in Delhi riots

Harynavis are particularly offended

One thing noticeable on TikTok is that Sikhs and Haryanvis are reminding people about what happened to them in the 1984 and 2016 riots. Jats are particularly offended that they were called ‘illiterate’ and ‘idiots’ by the national media then but the same is happening to the ‘literate’ people of Delhi now. A user named Prince Kadyan asks why the Dilli wallas who get free electricity, water, bus rides, are killing each other.

Sikhs are winning hearts not only on the ground by providing langar to the displaced people, but also by educating the youth on TikTok. A Sikh user has shared a video scolding the youth like a tauji.

Poems of rebellion are a big hit

Imran Pratap Garhi’s famous poem, which he recited during the 2016 JNU incident, is going viral now. Women in hijabs from across India are singing – “sun the ki behad sunhari hai dilli, samandar si khamosh gahri hai dilli.”

The Hindu is ‘awake’ now on TikTok and Twitter. The narrative is – first Hindus were thrown out of Kashmir, then from Bengal, Pakistan and now from Delhi.

Recently, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters recited young poet Amir Aziz’s poem ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega’ on Delhi violence. They will be forever remembered on TikTok too.

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