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How Hanan Hamid Became the Target of Trolls Amid Spate of Controversies in Kerala

After her story was reported by a newspaper on Wednesday, film director Arun Gopy offered her role. This was when online abusers went berserk on social media, trolling Hanan.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:July 28, 2018, 10:58 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Her day starts with going to Chambakkara fish market, after which she goes to her college in Thodupuzha — two and a half hours from her home. After college, she again sells fish till 9 in the night. This isn’t all about 19-year-old Hanan Hamid’s struggle. She says she takes tuition classes, sells hand-made jewellery to nearby stores, all to support her family consisting of an ailing mother and a younger brother.

After her story was reported by a newspaper on Wednesday, film director Arun Gopy offered her role. This was when online abusers went berserk on social media, trolling Hanan. They alleged that the story was part of a publicity campaign for Mohanlal’s film for which shooting was scheduled to begin on Friday.

Accusations and trolling came from almost all sections—from fundamentalists who rebuked her for not wearing a headscarf to liberal intellectuals who seemed to be upset with Mohanlal for his stand on Dileep issue and also the Hindu fundamentalists who were upset over a media house for publishing a controversial book.

The CPM also took the opportunity to express anger over the agenda of ‘anti-government’ media, while Christian hardliners took on the media for raking up ‘sleazy episodes’ of the priests.

Everyone seemed to have their own axe to grind. When Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala spoke in support of Hanan, who studies chemistry at Al-Azhar College, he also faced the wrath of trolls.

But when Hanan’s classmates and the management of her college came out with testimonials, many people apologised for their words.

The accusations affected the girl who appeared before TV cameras with folded hands and said, “Let me live my life. Don't call me a liar.”

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday expressed support for the girl and called her a “real warrior”. He has ordered probe and directed the police to take action against the online abusers.

“I have asked Ernakulam district collector to offer ample protection to Hanan. I request Kerala to stand with Hanan and support her,” Pinarayi Vijayan told media on Friday.

Former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan had also asked the government to file cases under cyber laws against the bullies who made a concerted effort to malign Hanan.

"The police should expose the conspiracy behind the social media campaign in order to trivialise the struggles of Hanan," the veteran said in a statement.

Noted writer and critic MN Karassery also spoke in support of Hanan and condemned the incident. "The same mentality of Malayalees in the mob violence in killing the worker from Bengal, in killing the Adivasi youth manifests in Hanan episode also. I am sorry. We are becoming a mad mob instead of a democratic society!" he post on social media. He urged the Kerala people to show ‘compassion’ towards the young girl. ​

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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