Long Live Cancel Culture: Another Day, Another Victory For Dravidian Social Media Machinery

K Balakumar

Apr 12, 2024, 03:19 PM | Updated 03:47 PM IST

Representative Image
Representative Image
  • In Tamil Nadu, the bigotry of Dravidians passes off as liberalism.
  • If it had happened in any other part of India, it would have been headline news for days together. News channels would never tire of discussing the development. But in Tamil Nadu, where everyday bigotry from the Dravidian sections passes off as liberalism, it barely registered a squeak even on social media timelines. 

    A young social media influencer's post on X (formerly Twitter) had to be taken off thanks to the brazen bullying by the emboldened 'Dravidoids.'

    That it was a post that looked paid for is a detail that may be irrelevant to the larger scheme of things. That the issue, which is a clear case of cancel culture degenerating into fascism, did not trigger traction among the so-called liberals is the real tragedy. 

    It all started off with one of those typical whippersnappers who has managed to acquire the tag 'influencer.' In this case, the handle happened to be 'Bibidi babidibooo' (@srinidhiiee).

    Former Union Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss — whose party is now an ally of the BJP in Tamil Nadu — had held a meeting with social media influencers and creators a few days back in Chennai.

    It was a typical session where Anbumani held forth on his politics and the influencers and creators went back to their social media timelines and posted about the meet. These meetings and subsequent posts on social media are mostly quid pro events, which is of course an obvious euphemism for the fact that posts are done for a fee. Or as they say, it is a 'collaboration.'

    Many posts had a similar ring, and you kind of understood why. Anyway,  this @srinidhiiee person's post on Anbumani was no different from the ones seen elsewhere. But no sooner had she put out the tweet that the entire weight of the Dravidian lot (read: DMK IT Wing) descended on her.

    Her posting was criticised, which is not a problem actually. But with typical brazenness, the 'Dravidologists' launched into a personal scathing attack on the young woman. The vehemence of the attack, for those of us watching from the sidelines, was staggering.

    Dravidians resort to casteist attack

    And inevitably, the Dravidologists went for the jugular — they targeted the young woman's caste. And in the blessed land of Tamil Nadu, no prizes for guessing her caste — Brahmin. 

    Seriously, this tweet says it all. It merely reads: "பாப்பாத்திகள்," which is a patented pejorative for Brahmins (a term that the DMK types always used on Jayalalithaa). Just identifying a person by their caste is a crass thing to do. But in TN, Dravidologists are forever indulging in this exercise. It is the sole constant in their politics since the days of EV Ramasamy, the man who famously gave a call for genocide against the Brahmins.  

    Anyway, the trenchant trolling of that influencer was relentless and she bowed down to the pressure by deleting her tweet.

    It was a classic case of intolerance and cancel culture. It was orchestrated by the online mob of Dravidians. But the thing is they never get called out for their egregious transgressions. If anything, the Dravidian ideology gets to figure under the ambit of progressive thinking. 

    The point to note here is that the attack on the influencer for merely posting a tweet that had some positive spin on a BJP ally is not a one-off.

    Not long ago, another popular handle on X, @SriniMaama16, a weighty force in the cricket ecosystem, was shredded to pieces. And his 'crime'? Well, he had a few words of praise for TN BJP chief K Annamalai.

    Srini Mama's post appreciated Annamalai for putting in the hard yards in trying to develop his party in the state. Even if one is not a BJP supporter, one cannot escape noticing the efforts being put in by Annamalai. Verily, that is what Srini Mama pointed to.

    The mob mentality of cancel culture

    But he was mercilessly trolled by the loutish army of fascists that he too was compelled to cut out his tweet. But he also called out the chicanery of those who went after him — "Gosh! Removed last tweet because I suddenly became a closet Sanghi who was paid to tweet & people have already started building narratives over it. Beautiful storylines that Vince McMahon will be proud.

    It was merely an instant reaction (after seeing that pic) as a TN vaasi that Annamalai has been here, there everywhere. If I congratulate CM for running a smooth Chess Olympiad in Chennai, I don't become a UP. If I observe something about Annamalai, I don't become a Sanghi.

    Observe pannaley super narratives build panraanga. Disagreements irundha disagree panlam, aana no, direct aa abuse & name calling dhaan. Good stuff. Stay away pannikaren adhaan enaku nalladhu."  

    This Dravidian war dance to silence anyone who even so much as stirs to have a few words of appreciation for the BJP is the inescapable reality. But no, the so-called champions of free speech don't even open their mouths against this blatant bulldozing of independent thinking.    

    The Dravidian cancel culture has acquired a stranglehold over the influencers' ecosystem. It employs a chilling effect, and the shallow influencers, who are always worried about losing their career, reputation, or even social standing – are willingly resorting to self-censorship so that they don't become the target of the Dravidian forces. 

    Fascism thrives on simplistic narratives. And this insidious cancel culture of the Dravidologists often operates in the same way. Nuance and context are tossed aside as individuals are judged by a single statement or action. There is constant policing of language and behaviour, leaving little room for growth or redemption.

    There are also those who counter-argue that Hindutva groups too are no saints and they are also no paragons of freedom of speech. Oh, for sure. The crucial difference is that they get called out for their excesses. But only in Tamil Nadu, the vile bigotry of the Dravidian lot is celebrated as a liberal act.

    Frankly, it is all a travesty.  

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