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Telugu journo Thulasi Chandu writes down ‘One day I will be killed’

Telugu journo Thulasi Chandu writes down ‘One day I will be killed’

Hyderabad: Thulasi Chandu, an independent journalist based in Hyderabad, has expressed fear for her life due to incessant harassment and hate speech directed at her. In an emotional post on Facebook, she shared her anguish, stating that she is being targeted for speaking out against communal hatred and misinformation.

Thulasi, who has been working in the media industry for 14 years, started her own YouTube channel in 2020 to provide critical perspectives in the Telugu virtual space, which she felt was lacking.

The ordeal for Thulasi began in 2020 when she released a video highlighting the communal overtones during the Greater Hyderabad Municipal elections. Hindu right-wing trolls responded by labelling her as "anti-Hindu," "commie," and other derogatory terms, escalating into intense hate, misogyny, and even graphic rape and murder threats.

Despite filing a complaint with the cybercrime wing of the Hyderabad City Police, no action has been taken against the perpetrators. Thulasi's recent Facebook post sheds light on the alarming trend of organized abuse and harassment she faces from YouTube channels and social media users dedicated to attacking her and her supporters.

Thulasi's work, which includes videos such as "How India Sold out to Adani" and "Politics Behind Attack on Atheist Bairi Naresh," has garnered a significant viewership, amassing 1.79 lakh subscribers. However, it has also attracted designated trolls who go to the extent of describing violent methods of assault against her.

The severity of the threats led a group of students at Osmania University to stage a protest demanding her protection, while numerous people on social media platforms have expressed solidarity with her.

When questioned about the allegations of attacking the Hindu religion, Thulasi clarified that she criticizes communal politics, corruption, and administrative failures irrespective of party affiliations. She emphasizes that exposing scams and economic offences committed by the powerful should not be misconstrued as anti-Hindu sentiments.

Thulasi's case is not an isolated incident. Women journalists and activists in Hyderabad have also been targeted in the past. Journalists Swathi Vadlamudi and Vanaja C, as well as activists G Sandhya, Devi, and Professor Sujata Surepally, have faced similar abuse from Hindu right-wing trolls.

While the Telangana government claims to be secular and against hatred, its lack of action in these cases raises concerns. Despite Minister K Tarakarama Rao's intervention, no progress has been made. The police have now registered a fresh case against three YouTube channels and one Facebook page in response to Thulasi's complaint.

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