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Shefali Vaidya

Shefali Vaidya

Affiliation: Independent
Vocation/ Title: Author / Social media Influencer
Location: Pune

Shefali Vaidya is a Pune-based Hindu far-right propagandist, a leader in disinformation, who uses social media to stoke hate against Muslims and other minorities. She holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Pune, an advanced post-graduate diploma in Spanish language, and a post-graduate diploma in Indology.

She often writes propaganda pieces for Hindutva outlets like Swarajya and OpIndia.

In a piece written for OPIndia titled “My name is Shefali Vaidya and I am a troll,.”” She admits, “If speaking the truth without fear makes me a troll‬, Yes, I am a troll.”

Her writings and social media activity are crafted to promote the hateful politics and policies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She writes in the same piece, “Many of you know that I have been writing on SM about politics since 2012 supporting @narendramodi ji, coz I genuinely believe he is good for India. I have paid a heavy price for it.”

Like other Hindu supremacists, she also advocates for the religio-cultural dominance of the Hindu way of life in India, naming it ‘Indian civilizational.’’

In a video where she could be seen sharing the stage with Madhu Kishwar, a prominent hate monger, she is asked about her idea of “Indian Civilisation,” she replies by narrating the story of a Muslim cab driver. She says that the driver respectfully touched the steering wheel before assuming the seat which, according to her, was very pleasant to see. She says that this is Indian culture and civilization that is when a Muslim imitates the Hindu way of praying by revering inanimate objects.

She has been promoting the hoax of Love Jihad. Her favorite vocation is, however, on Twitter, posting images at times morphed, orchestrating campaigns to ban and discredit dissenting voices, and writing inflammatory content promoting hatred and enmity toward Muslims and other minorities in India.

According to Vidya, India’s biggest enemies are the 3Ms, “Marxist, Mullah (derogatory slur for Muslims), and Missionary.” She habitually uses anti-Muslim slurs.

Vaidya misses no opportunity to stoke anti-Muslim hate. She weaponized the murder of 26-year-old Shraddha Walkar to validate their claim of ‘Love Jihad.’ Through several tweets, Vaidya blamed the poor girl for her fate as she had fallen prey to a ‘Muslim predator.’

Vidya has problems with Muslim festivals and especially Eid. According to her, the festival teaches cruelty and must be discontinued.

In one of her tweets, she wrote, “Hundreds of thousands of goats, camels, cattle and other animals are kept in cramped quarters, waiting for their throat to be cut in 3 days in the name of the ‘most merciful and compassionate’ one on #EID…”.

Needless to mention that the ruling BJP government assures Vaidya and her ilk the much-needed impunity and patronage. To bypass the Twitter policy and guidelines against hatred and misinformation, she tweaks keywords and expressions that let her slip off the radar of the content moderation teams for taking down the hateful content.

According to The Wire, her modus operandi online has been to misspell the word “Muslim” as “Muzlim” or refer to them as ‘Mullah.’ Similarly, the term “Islam” is misspelled as “Izlam,” especially in more provocative tweets. Several Twitter users follow the same tactic to escape suspension of their accounts.