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Rannvijay Singha on tackling trolls trolls

SHOWING THE WAY: Rannvijay Singha

SHOWING THE WAY: Rannvijay Singha   | Photo Credit: STRDEL

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As MTV unleashes Troll Police, host Rannvijay Singha talks about the idea behind taking on the menace

Be it actors, journalists or sportspersons, nobody is spared from the volley of sexist, misogynist and personal comments made by people whom we call trolls. Now MTV is coming up with a new show called Troll Police where celebrities from all walks of life will take on their trolls face to face on camera. Rannvijay Singha will be the face and host of the show which will feature Taapsee Pannu and Neha Dhupia confronting their trolls on the show. “Last year we saw celebrities, journalists and a lot more people trolled on social media. We realised, these things, if said in real life, would have repercussions but on internet because of the veil of anonymity this is not the case,” says Rannvijay.

Armed with a team of cyber experts, the show would locate the trolls and would bring them face to face with the celebrities they have trolled. Asked how they would convince the trolls to come on television, Rannvijay says, “We will call them on the pretext of an acting audition or a dance audition.”

In this season, the team is calling 13 celebrities who would confront their trolls and try to reason with them as to why they trolled them in first place. “By taking on 13 trolls we can stop thousands of people from trolling on the internet. The show actually wants to make people aware that trolling is a serious offence and can land them to jail.”

Refuting the argument that reacting to trolls and giving them attention is actually feeding them, Rannvijay says, “It is not giving them attention; it is actually their pardafaash (unveiling of their real faces) in front of their family and their friends so that their dear and near ones could know their real face. Also, the number of trolls has only increased and giving them no reaction emboldens their spirit. It’s not only about celebrities who are strong and eventually become thick-skinned, it is actually about common people and children whose confidence gets shaken when they are body shamed and called names.”

Talking about the approach taken by the show, Rannvijay says, “We will empathise with the troll if the troll deserves it. Giving somebody rape and death threats cannot be defended by saying that I was depressed and going through trouble. We are not going to call somebody who may have trolled once or twice; we will confront serial offenders. Also our approach may reform some of the trolls. But for those who have no regrets, we will let them know that a non-bailable warrant could be issued against them for the act.”

To the possibility of his show also taking on the organised trolls, which has turned out to be a graver menace, Rannvijay says, “It’s the beginning, we will get to that also if we can. This season we are only taking on individual trolls. When Roadies started in 2003 nobody had imagined that it would become this big, similarly we are starting this show and want to turn this show into a people’s movement.”

To the critics who may find the show trying to feed on the publicity made out of the confrontations between celebrities and their trolls, Rannvijay says, “Brave celebrities are coming on television and trying to reform the trolls. The underlying message for people is if Taapsee could do that then why not us?” Saying that it is incumbent upon celebrities to raise awareness about such issues he said, “It is our responsibility to make a difference and bring awareness in the society about this issue.”

Finding no substance in the argument that women are more likely to get trolled than men, Rannvijay, who himself has no experience of getting trolled, says, “Be it the Men in Blue or people like Karan Johar, men equally are vulnerable to the threat. Our show is also going to call male celebrities to confront their trolls.”

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:01:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/rannvijay-singha-on-tackling-trolls-trolls/article22450289.ece

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