The Bhakt Story -How The Internet Troll Works

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The trolls of the Bhakt genre are haunting the progressive and dissenting voices over the internet, especially on the social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Most of the time when anyone dares to type few lines against the Modi government, they are lambasted by a flock of upper caste Hindu men, and men disguised as women with a photograph of some random model in the profile. The dissenting voices are targeted as per their socio-economic position. A mere blogger and journalist like me, who has no fan following, will not draw the flak of the RSS mob as much like that of someone who is popular over the social media or in the world outside. This clearly indicates that the Bhakts wants to make their voice heard loud and clear to not only their target but also to them who follows their targets. They expect a fear psychosis to develop among the followers that will stop them from making their anti Modi voices public, which will again mean that there is no dissent in the country, an idle fascist dream.

I was closely observing the pattern of attack on the targets of trolls since the end of 2013, and over this period I found that these troll attack does not comes from mere BJP or RSS supporters who are online the whole day to threaten and intimidate the opposition. Do you remember how fast and how rapidly the Modi supporters called names to those who opposed Modi during the election campaigns of 2014; they will launch their attack as soon as something is posted against Modi. How could the mediocre and often technically handicapped knickers clad RSS Pracharaks do such things within fraction of seconds?  

Later my investigation revealed that these activities are done in a systematic and organised way, under the commandership of the RSS headquarters (and their mass organisations along with BJP leadership) through a chain of IT service companies that have entered into a pact with the BJP and the saffron camp to promote their vision, win over supporters, spread misinformation, polarise the Hindu majority, targeting specially urban and rural upper caste Hindus on internet and moreover threaten and humiliate dissenters, Muslims, Dalits, Christians or anyone else who is not considered suitable to be in the ambit of ‘Bharatiya’ by Nagpur.

The curiosity increased over time regarding the modus operandi of these Bhakts that creates so much tremors in the social media and internet, so the investigation continued into further depths and took me to the outskirts of the national capital of Delhi, parts of outer Mumbai and I have to use contacts in and near Bengaluru to get the clear picture of how Modi Bhakts operate in the online kingdom.

BJP outsourced its online campaign management in parts to several IT and digital marketing companies under the leadership of Piyush Goyal, companies like Ogilvy & Mather's Piyush Pandey, McCann World group's Prasoon Joshi and Sam Balsara of Madison World worked overtime since BJP roped them to build brand Modi before the 2014 polls. While leading advertising agency, Soho Square, part of the WPP Group, handled television, radio and print campaigns with catchy slogans such as "Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar," several small scale local IT companies and digital marketing firms, mostly with low to medium level turnover and with saffronist elements in their management, got the job of opposition bashing throughout the election campaigning days.

Manned with only 5-10 employees, these organisations started creating numerous fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to post and share the contents approved by Nagpur based RSS and Delhi based BJP leaders. The numerous accounts created were often linked with each other and the content posted by one profile was shared with another. Moreover, through these methods, the troll gang inflated the fan following of each profile on Twitter and Facebook, to ensure their profile looks very genuine. Next target was to befriend or follow liberal, democratic, left-right-centre and everyone opposing Modi’s bid for the premiere’s position. The job was to bully and oppose any anti Modi posts made by the opposition forces on the social media, which a special team of each company took care of to ensure that seeds of fear are implanted in the social media to warn and keep off the dissenting anti-fascist voices.

Once the contents were developed and approved, they were published with blitzkrieg pace by these agents on the internet. These contents were mostly misinformation, fake news, photo shopped images, briefly a complete package of lies and deceptions developed with monstrous creativity to confuse and the majority of urban Hindu people. Whilst some clippings will show Muslim men butchering Hindu men, raping Hindu women, then some other will show fabricated news articles on Pakistani involvement in Madrassas, etc.
After the elections, with Modi emerging victorious, many such Twitter handles and Facebook profiles that once created a ruckus in their attempt to support Modi’s bid to premiership, suddenly became silent, some vanished from internet space and many went inactive. This sudden change was discussed for few weeks in the social media space, however, very soon people moved on.

By December 2014, the Modi government faced its first major crisis with the Sangh family launching the vicious anti-Muslim, anti-Christian ‘Ghar Wapsi’ agenda to forcefully convert the religious minorities in Hinduism. The reluctance of Modi to speak up against the atrocities committed on the minorities created a protest clamour all over the nation, the progressive and democratic voices started raising their voices by overcoming the powerful propaganda waves launched in Modi’s favour by the big corporate capital.

In 2015, the Modi government started showing its UPA syndromes very fast, the inflation started sky rocketing, BJP faced poll debacle in Delhi, the people of the country started expressing their anguish against the government, its utmost failure to deliver promises made by Modi during his campaigning, and Amit Shah admitted that the BJP election campaign promises on black money were mere ‘joomla’ (rhetoric) mongering by Modi. The failures of the BJP to bring down prices, provide any assistance to the suffering peasantry, the corporate appeasements by Modi and his ‘India selling’ campaigns overseas, along with exposure of the nexus between tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi and BJP ministers like Sushma Swaraj – Vasundhara Raje, the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh, followed by the beef ban and beef murders committed by Sangh activists brought the Modi government at the forefront of the firing squad of the dissenting opponents of the regime. The opposition bloc included everyone from aggrieved right winger to radical left, and social media became the most popular place to express dissent and reach out likeminded people. Suddenly, the ‘Bhakts’ or the Hindi speaking Hindu male trolls started wandering the social media turf to hunt dissenters.  

The writers of anti-Modi statements were selectively targeted basing on their stature in the social ladder, fan followers, religion, gender and even language. The females who spoke and wrote English were targeted and cyber molested by the troll force of ‘Bhakts’ who felt inferior to the urban English speaking women whose communication skills and intellect sounded better than the ‘Bhakts.’ Abusing and threatening continued and suddenly it was found that many of the profiles that went blank after the election results were out last year were back.

An employee of such a firm disclosed to this writer that the business was bad since the project of promoting Modi ended in May 2014 and these cyber trolls had to do normal SEO jobs like link building, social media marketing and worse than everything else, search and close deals with new clients for digital and social media marketing campaigns. However, by the mid of 2015, the BJP was back with business as their client through their local leaders and RSS organisers. The job this time is to search and read for top stories and trends in the social media, find where the government and particularly Modi is attacked by the dissenting voices. Their other target is rationalist and logical writers who oppose Hindutva campaign and the RSS endeavour of saffronising every aspect of the Indian society. Following the example of the Islamic troll of Bangladesh (infamous for the lynching of Avijit Roy, an eminent blogger and rationalist), the Hindu Bhakt started looking for prey in rotational shifts, working from three different corners of the country.

A normal employee in the social media bullying campaign will never identify himself as a BJP supporter or activist; this is rule number one as stated by one of the sources who spoke to this writer on the condition of anonymity. Secondly, more than supporting the policy issues of the government the troll force will be liable to assault, threaten and bully the dissenters. Thirdly, they have to look for anything and everything that can be treated (or transformed) into an insulting object for Hinduism and then make out a hate campaign using such objects or articles. Fourthly, these employees were to research on Wikipedia for information on everything they do not know, then write their plagiarism filled response on the articles where Hindu supremacy, Brahminist tyranny or RSS dogma is opposed by any writer. Fifthly, they have to abuse someone or anyone from the opposition camp, targeting specifically leftwing forces, feminists, and journalists who dare to differ.

During the whole exercise the teams work in tandem with each other, as their territories on social media and internet space is demarcated, each individual team member has a particular assignment, set of targets and of course, they are paid for their performance, hence, they get their testosterone high and plunge on the preys as soon as they get them. The teams make sure that they do not cross each other’s territory, the employees are careful that they do not waste their time behind a single person for very long but collectively bully as many person they can.

Some of the team members are experts in Photoshop, and others are in search techniques, they try to reach their targets fast and promote their content and bully their targets at a fast pace. Mostly these agents use their mother tongue to abuse their targets, and they have limited ammunition till date to use against their targets as they were those which were provided by the BJP – RSS before 2014 elections, like, ‘go to Pakistan’, ‘sickular’, etc. As these days the troll activities are organised and led by local level RSS organisers, hence the corporate decency behind bloody attacks are missing and the assaults have turned more heinous than ever.

The Bhakts provide a great service to the BJP and its RSS bosses, as these troll force consists only of fake ids, they cannot be associated with the Sangh Parivar and its numerous terror cells, the misdeeds of the Bhakts does not makes the BJP responsible, as the Party has made it clear through its social media policy that it does not promotes any form of cyber bullying, moreover, the Bhakts themselves will never identify the BJP as their Party as a tactic arrangement of the cyber bully exercise. Hence, the Bhakts can continue to create a nuisance without causing indigestion to the BJP, unlike Sakshi Maharaj and his breed of holocaust worshipers. 

It is very hard really to fight the Bhakts and their troll, as it will be a futile exercise to combat those who does not exist in real life, and are just temporary beings made to live a cyber life to promote a particular dispensation that wants to indoctrinate, enslave and rule the major part of the Indian populace by commanding their minds and thoughts. The tool of the RSS is to make the Indian people, who are more or less uneducated at large due to the high amount of poverty that rules the countryside, to believe that it is the saviour of the country from the menace of Islam and terrorism, and everything that is shown to the people over the internet or television, must be considered as gospel truth. 

The next time you come across the Bhakts calling you names on the social media, block them, do not try to answer them or shame them, as these people do not exist in real. They are as their employers, fly by operators, whose specific job is just to propagate anything their masters ask them to share. Their hatred and their abuses are as fake as their own existence. So just keep moving on, declare your views openly and without fear, because only 5-10% of the troll regiment are real human beings.


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