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`Muslim Women For Sale’: Shock, Anger Mount As `Bulli Bai’ App Organizes Online”Auction”

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

SRINAGAR—Shock and anger have mounted as several prominent Indian Muslim women have been put up for sale on ‘Bulli Bai’, a clone of the `Sulli Deals’ app.

The miscreants have put up every prominent Muslim woman for sale from Malala Yousufzai to Shabana Azmi and from Qurratulain Rehbar to Ismat Aara. Rehbar, a Kashmir journalist, who had written extensively on Sulli Deals last year, has also been included this time.

“Bulli Bai” works just the same way as ‘Sulli Deals’. “Once you open it, you randomly find a Muslim woman’s face being displayed as Bulli Bai,” a social media user said.

The app used Git Hub, an American hosting platform for software projects. Once the app was opened, a Muslim woman’s photo popped up with the tagline ‘Your Bulli Bai of the day’.

“Last year I wrote about how Muslim women’s pictures were auctioned online where women felt haunted and humiliated. Today, after a year seeing my own picture in another trend #bullideals, besides other Muslim women’, makes me feel utmost disgusting,” Rehbar said.

Journalist Ismat Ara files FIR

It started when Ismat Aara, a Delhi-based journalist, called out `Bulli Bai’ after she was put up for auction. “It is unfortunate that as a Muslim woman, you have to start your new year with this sense of fear and disgust. Of course, it goes without saying that I am not the only one being targeted in this new version of #sullideals,” she tweeted.

On Sunday, an FIR was registered by Cyber Police (South East Delhi) based on Ismat’s complaint under sections 153A (promoting enmity on the grounds of religion), 153B (Imputations prejudicial to national integration), and 354A and 509 for sexual harassment.

Delhi Police said they were investigating a case filed by journalist Ismat Ara. “Concerned officials have been directed to take appropriate action,” Delhi police tweeted.

Shiv Sena woman MP seeks stern action

Priyanka Chaturvedi, an MP from Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena, said a probe had also been launched in Mumbai.

”Have spoken to @CPMumbaiPolice and DCP Crime Rashmi Karandikar ji. They will investigate this. Have also spoken to @DGPMaharashtra for intervention. Hoping those behind such misogynistic and sexist sites are apprehended,” she tweeted. 

“I have repeatedly asked Hon. IT Minister @AshwiniVaishnaw ji to take stern action against such rampant misogyny and communal targeting of women through #sullideals like platforms. A shame that it continues to be ignored,” she said.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (Women wing) demands firm action

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s women’s wing vehemently condemned the online “auction” of the Muslim women and demanded firm action against the accused.

JIH (women’s wing) secretary Rahmathunnisa says it is “a conspiracy of hate-mongers to instigate a section of society”. She, however, cautioned people “not to get in the trap of hate-peddlers and fight it through legal and peaceful means.”

She termed the incident as “a communal, misogynist, sexist, and Islamophobic attempt to denigrate and insult the daughters of India.”

“The online “auction” of the respectable daughters of India at a website/app by the name of ‘Bulli bai / Bulli deals’ shames our nation and culture,” she remarked.

She said, “Our Bharatiya Sanskar is in peril. That is because our culture honours and glorifies our mothers, sisters, and daughters.”

She said that miscreants were encouraged to repeat a similar crime because the law and order agencies did not take appropriate action in the “Sullideal” incident when several Muslim women, including Muslim women journalists, were put on an online “auction” about a year ago.

Under fire, a GitHub spokesperson said: “GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence. We suspended a user account following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.”

Rahul Gandhi calls it an insult of women

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called upon people to raise their voice against “‘insult of women” and communal hatred. “The insult of women and communal hatred will stop only when we stand against it in one voice. The year has changed, the situation should also change. It is time to speak up,” Gandhi tweeted using the hashtag ‘no fear’.

Criminals behind online “auction” have official patronage: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti alleged that ”fringe elements” targeting Muslim women online had the ”official patronage”.

“Appalling that the criminals behind such derogatory & demeaning actions against Muslim women are given a free run,” the former chief minister tweeted.

Hindu “supremacist” behind the insulting troll: Women’s Association

All India Progressive Women’s Association alleged that “Hindu supremacists” were behind this and expressed solidarity with the victims.

Under pressure, Union IT Minister Vaishnaw tweeted that the Government of India is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this matter.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Well said mrs rehmatunisa madam!
    We stand with all the dignified and peace loving people of our country…
    We are one voice against opression and injustice of anykind…

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