Mollywood star Parvathy was in the news lately for the anguish she underwent because of cyber bullying. On expressing her disappointment at the misogyny shown in Mammooty’s film Kasaba, she was targeted by fans. The bullying went to the extent where she received rape threats too. Similarly Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma had to go through a similar ordeal when she was cyber-bullied on Twitter by cricket fans who blamed her for skipper Virat Kohli’s poor performance in 2015. Another incident, where Bollywood style icon Sonam Kapoor received a backlash when she Tweeted about her displeasure with the meat ban, also received nasty comments.
The Internet being free for all poses a huge problem when it comes to such cyber bullying incidents. Sandalwood actress Karunya Ram feels that a celebrity has to bear the brunt of fame. “Being a celebrity. I have come across many irrelevant, prejudiced statements which can turn hateful. I feel that it’s best if such comments are ignored. It only affects a person when he/she takes it seriously. There should be some cyber app or body where we can complain, and immediate action can be taken to serve as an example for others,” she says.
But it is a huge task. City-based psychologist Aishwarya Honnavalli feels, “Regardless of what one’s standing in society is, celebs are still human. Regardless of all this cyber bullying, the things people say end up affecting and hurting. I feel that cyber bullying has a stronger impact than we understand. It’s not something that should be taken lightly because with stars, it tends to get underplayed. We forget that they are human too; and have ordinary human emotions. More than just plain cyber bullying, gender politics also takes a toll on a person’s psyche. With the amount of stress put on a star by fans and public, cyber bullying only adds to this. It needs to be curbed and a change in attitude against stars is the first step. The bullies need to be taken to task as well.”