Kochi: In the last few days, Keralites had been going hyper on Facebook. Their main task was to abuse the New York Times for publishing a racist cartoon. Thousands of facebookians joined hands and unleashed an attack on each and every post the daily had been updating in the last four days. The paper later succumbed to pressure and apologised for its action and posted an update on Monday morning.
The New York Times in a Facebook post wrote: “A large number of readers have complained about a recent editorial cartoon in The New York Times, about India's foray into space exploration. The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, western countries”.
Andrew Rosenthal, in charge of the editorial page further wrote: “We apologize to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon. Mr Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens. We appreciate that readers have shared their feedback, which we welcome.”
The controversial cartoon was published on September 28. Following this several vernacular online websites shared the news stating that New York Times had ridiculed India by publishing the cartoon.
The news went viral on Facebook and a huge crowd banged the official Facebook page of the daily.
Keralites now known as Cyber Gundas had in the past viciously abused tennis player Maria Sharapova, cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, anchor Ranjini Haridas,actors Hansika, Prithviraj and several others.
Maria Sharapova was abused for saying she didn't know who Sachin Tendulkar was while South Indian actor Hansika got it for refusing to act in a Malayalam film.
A Kannada Facebook page dealing with movies also witnessed abuse after it criticised the Big Ms of the Malayalam film industry.
Prithviraj was at the receiving end even on Monday after he announced his daughter’s name on Facebook. The name, Alankrita Menon Prithviraj was too much for Malayalis who could not bear the Menon in the name.
“It is very easy to come out in the media against social discrimination based on caste and religion. By adding the caste name, u proved the difference between ur words n deeds” (sic) a user posted.
A close scrutiny of the comments made by Keralites on Facebook against the US newspaper shows the gundayism or rogue attitude of the users. For most of them it was pure fun. They posted famous movie dialogues and used all kind of swear words in Malayalam.
They purposefully used Malayalam to post comments and even showered abuses on native New Yorkers. Several users raised slogans such as Bharath Matha ki jai.
Though the US daily came up with an apology, Keralites refused to stop the trolling. Now they are demanding an apology in print.