Sulli Deals case: Know the Trads, latest Hindu supremacists in town

The Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals apps were promoted by Trads, abbreviation for traditional Hindus, who oppose the BJP and RSS and draw their ideology from the Shastras, considering the Manusmriti their Bible

These groups have been accused on brainwashing youngsters to join them on social media. (Image used for representation purpose only).

The Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai app cases, which have exposed the worrying level of Islamophobia that is being peddled on the internet, have also revealed that the ‘Hindutva brigade’ is not a homogenous unit after all. The cases have introduced the uninitiated to two new ‘Hindu’ groups – the Trads and the Raitas.

On Sunday, after arresting Sulli Deals’ alleged creator Anumkareshwar Thakur, Delhi Police said he was part of Trad (an abbreviation for tradition) groups on Twitter and Telegram. Police said Thakur was part of a group called ‘Tradmahasabha’, which he joined on Twitter in January 2020. This was apart from many other groups that have now been dismantled.

What are Trad groups?

Those part of Trad groups are traditionalists or conservatives, who draw their ideology from the Hindu Shashtras, believe in caste supremacy and swear by the Manusmriti over the Indian Constitution.

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“Most members are upper caste…well read…and operate and interact only virtually. Talks often revolve around the shastras, sanatan dharma, Brahminical supremacy,” a student who is a member of one such group told Indian Express.

Trads consider the BJP, RSS and their icon Veer Savarkar rivals and consider the Shankaracharya of Dwaraka and Puri as their gurus.

Also read: Creator of Sulli Deals app arrested from Indore

Enjoying cult-like popularity, the Trads dismiss anyone who calls out their ideology. According to police, these groups operate on social media platforms including Telegram, Reddit, 4chan and Discord, with their chief agenda being trolling Dalits, Muslims or non-Hindus and women.

The extreme ideas of Trads are supported by a few portals and social media celebrities including right-wing influencers. Both memes and languages seen in these groups are heavily borrowed from American alt-right.

The Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals apps were promoted by Trads. When Sulli Deals was launched last year, the app’s bio described it “as a community-drive open source project by Hindu triads.”

There have also been allegations that Trad groups have been trying to “brainwash” youngsters to join them and become “Trad social media warriors”.

 Also read: What is GitHub, and how did it get misused in Bulli Bai case?

“There are many eminent handles who are Trads and they brainwash youngsters on social media. They are quite successful and have created a whole army of such youngsters who engage in online hate campaigns. On social media, if somebody tweets a post which doesn’t match their beliefs, then that person gets targeted and attacked,” Newslaundry quoted a social media observer as saying.

How are they different from Raitas?

According to social media observers, Raitas are mostly people who believe in Hindu philosophy but are politically and socially aware too. These people may support the ‘ghar wapsi of Muslims’, but also advocate modern ideas such as widow remarriage, and right of Dalits – ideas that Trads do not support.

 

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