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Tea Leaves

No swearing please, we're Indian (women)

Insults are okay, but sexism and bigotry are not, language campaigners say

A conversation between a mother and daughter about online trolls who are "Bhakkua" meaning Supreme Fool. (All photos courtesy of The Gaali Project)

For Tamanna Mishra and Neha Thakur, friends who grew up in India, the proliferation of misogynistic swearwords always felt like a slap on the face. They noticed with rising dismay how some viewing platforms in India have been normalizing the use of swearwords with stories of violence from the hinterlands. In parallel, the apparent anonymity provided by social media was fueling a brutal backlash, complete with threats and insults, against women who voiced their opposition.

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