Social media went on for a hate trade after the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared photographs of four young individuals who had received an internship with them.
Actually, NASA’s post was to remind people interested in the summer internship program about the last date to apply. In this post, four pictures of diverse background interns were shared.
Among them was a beautiful photograph of Indian American intern Pratima Roy. The photograph showed Ms Roy with idols of Hindu Goddesses and photographs stuck on the wall.
Her picture displaying Hindu-goddesses brought the worst out of a lot of people who claim to be academic, liberal and secular.
Ashok Swain, whose Twitter profile says a Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University even questioned NASA, “Why do Hindus need to surround themselves with Gods and Goddesses.”
He further added to his tweet and questioned the judgement of NASA for selecting that particular image. After Twitterati raised the issue of Hinduphobia Ashok Swain appears to have deleted his quoted tweet since then.
Hindu hate kept going to the lowest level and one Twitter handle Mission Ambedkar even accused NASA of killing ‘Science’.
Even in this wonderful moment where they should be celebrating Pratima Roy, they could not let go of the hate towards Hindus, said Yadu Singh, Sydney based President of Federation of Indian Associations in NSW.
He wrote on Twitter,
“The mocking of #PratimaRoy for her religious beliefs (Hinduism) is Hinduphobia.”
Rashmi Swant, former President-elect of the University of Oxford who was last year targeted by the Hinduphobic mob said, I’m so proud of each person in this picture and more so of a fellow sanatani woman.
“What a beautiful ensemble of photos. More power to each of them and a shout out to the beautiful Hindu woman for proudly representing her culture.”
Support also poured in to counter the blatant Hinduphobia.
This episode demonstrates widespread Hinduphobia in social media narratives. A lot of people raised the question, will women from other religions be targeted in the same way if they would have shared pictures with their religious symbols.
This brings the debate of ignorant institutionalised Hinduphobia to the forefront. Hinduphobia deniers are the actual Hinduphobic who target even the young women achievers of Hindu faith, said Yadu Singh.
Gokul Prasad is a Dalit Social Scientist. He told The Australia Today, “There seemed to be more tweets about Pratima Roy and how dare she be there … and what right has she got to be there.”
“Even in this jubilant moment, the hate is what just dominates their thinking.”
“Their brain is now based on the absolute hate and hysteria of the Hinduphobia,” added Mr Prasad