The troll factory on Indian social media has found yet another target and this time it is the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.A research paper written by Joyjeet Pal, an associate professor at Michigan State University and Shreyil Agarwal, researcher at the same institute revealed that Chandrachud has been accused of being “a foreign agent, a threat to democracy and an internal enemy.” The paper also revealed that the accounts that trolled the CJI the most had strong ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Other accusations that were directed at the CJI include that he is driven by “globalist interests” and is indoctrinated by global institutions like Harvard University and George Soros, a Hungarian-American billionaire.The BJP government has been critical of Soros and accused him of trying to destabilise democracy in India.Chandrachud has also been trolled for his liberal positions on gender and sexuality.His ideological positions were trolled for being “disconnected from mainstream Indian reality.” The CJI has also been accused of being ‘anti-Hindu’.This is done by presenting his judgements on minorities as his ‘indifference’ to Hindus allegedly being under attack. The research paper noted that most trolling targeted towards Chandrachud was not spurred on by mainstream media or politicians.
It came from social media ‘influencers’, most of whom were closely associated with or supported the BJP. For the study, the researchers observed tweets about the CJI from January 1 to April 20 of 2023It was found that the most popular accounts tweeting against Chandrachud are Ramdharam Das, the spokesperson of ISKON, Hindu religious group and Abhijeet Iyer Mitra, a right-wing activist and columnist at right-wing website OpIndia.Another account that frequently engaged in this trolling is a person called Ram Prasad, who is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter. The research paper stated that while the aforementioned people did not initiate a tirade of trolling against Chandrachud, they were “piggybacking on the sudden public interest” in the CJI. However, it is not just that right wing that gets involved in criticising Chandrachud.The research paper suggests that Chandrachud has been accused of benefiting from nepotism because his father YV Chandrachud served as the 16th CJI.People have also criticised Chandrachud of being casteist because the collegium is not diverse and has no representation from marginalised communities.