Rape threats force Indian singer Neha Bhasin to file case
Talking to an Indian daily, she said: “I waited for a week, this time. I tried warning them. But it just kept getting worse and worse every day and I decided that I couldn’t take it any longer, and filed a complaint with the cybercrime department of Mumbai police.”
She further added, “I posted a photo of my father, who passed away two years back, and in the comment section on that post, people are threatening me. I am scared.”
For the uninitiated, last year Bhasin, after defending rapper-composer Badshah on Twitter, had faced a barrage of abuse and rape threats, “which included many young girls dishing out threats,” by the “so-called fans” of (the Kpop sensation) BTS.
“I don’t even know Badshah personally. But he was being trolled and called average musician, because he said something about buying google ad words, and what he said was completely alright. I had just given my opinion that every artist needs to be respected, and added that I am not a big fan of Kpop music. Since then, for nearly two months I was abused and criminally threatened,” says Bhasin.
But it did not end there. This year, ever since it was reported that Badshah was questioned by the police about buying fake likes, The BTS Army, as the fans of the popular South Korean band like to call themselves, “abused, gave rape threats and bullied” Bhasin to apologise to them, for her remarks that she made last year.
“They even called my manager at 1am, and told them to ‘keep me in check’. There’s a video doing rounds on YouTube, where a young boy is openly threatening to rape me, if I don’t apologise,” she says.
Through her complaint, Bhasin hopes to achieve two things. “First is that I want the people to know, that bullying, abusing a celebrity, or anyone, for an opinion that you don’t agree with, is a criminal offence. Freedom of speech is not freedom to peddle hate, abuse anyone or threaten them,” she says.
“And secondly, I realised that most of them are young kids. It’s frightening to even think about the things they say and are capable of saying. It’s really down to their parents, who need to keep them in check. Just because they are kids does not mean they can go on abusing anyone, hiding behind a keyboard,” Bhasin added.
She also feels that it’s high time social media platforms need to be held responsible and accountable for allowing such hatred.