BULLI BAI : Misuse of Technology


“The strength of my country lies in the youth, mothers and sisters…I believe in your strength and hence I believe in the future of our country.”   This is from PM Narendra Modi’s first-ever address to the nation on the radio on 3rd October 2014. PM Modi takes pride in the country’s youth and has faith in their abilities. The youth, in PM’s words “want to stand on their own feet and live a life of pride and dignity”. He not only believes in skills and knowledge of these young minds but also trusts them “to have the strength to move the entire world”. 

In May 2019, Modi said, “Earlier we used to play with snakes, but now we play with ‘mouse’. Through IT, India’s youth has surprised the entire world.” This confidence from the Prime Minister has not only encouraged young minds but also given them the zeal to excel on global levels. Coming from such a nation where the IT sector is touching new skies every day, registering its name on global platforms, surprising the world with developing new-age technologies, applications and gadgets we still hear news of apps like “Bulli bai” and “Sulli Deals” being designed and operated in the country. 

Neeraj Bishnoi, a twenty-one-year-old engineering student from Assam is believed to be the mastermind behind Bulli bai, an app on GitHub that puts up pictures of Muslim women for a “fake” auction. The second-year student from Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal is not only the main conspirator of the Github app but is also believed to be involved in various IT frauds over the years. The obscene came to light when an FIR was filed against the app in Delhi on 2nd January 2022. Following the incident, Delhi police captured Neeraj Bishnoi from his home town Jorhat. Vishal Jha, a 2nd-year civil engineering student from Bangalore, was the first one to be arrested by the police in link-ups with the app. Mayank Rawat,18, from Uttrakhand was also detained by the police in connection with the app. The case got worse when police arrested Shweta Singh, an eighteen-year-old girl from Uttarakhand in connection with the app.


Neeraj Bishnoi while responding to a question on quora in 2017 wrote, "A religion who thinks that increasing their followers would grant them a higher level in the society cannot be classified as a religion, especially those for whom killing other religions followers would grant them a ticket to heaven. I’m not pointing at anyone. I’m not pointing at any religion. My words are enough for that!" This way of promoting anti-muslim and islamophobic mindsets rhetorically by a sixteen-year-old who in a few years becomes the main conspirator and developer of an app like Bulli Bai shows the dark side of the country and raises the question of whether India is truly the land of all religions. “She loves her Hindu culture,” said Manisha Singh following her sister Shweta’s arrest. She promises that while her sister “loves Hinduism”, she does not hate Islam. "Hinduism certainly was the most developed religion because 1000 years before when people of other religions were promoted to have 7 babies, 15 babies to grow their football team, Hinduism tried to find new ways to stop overpopulation." Said Bishnoi while answering a question on Quora which is a perfect example of how the masses are being influenced to despise other religions to prove loyalty to their own. 


“For Congress, they are Muslims, but for us they are Indians,” said PM Modi in the Lok Sabha over anti-CAA protests. In a tweet dated 15th December 2013 Modi wrote,” Unity in diversity is India's strength. This is not merely on paper but it is our identity & our tradition”. This obscenity by a group of teenagers can be viewed as a wider problem as despite the government's continued efforts to promote sodality in society and steps to uplift Muslims like the abolition of Triple Talaq there has been a peak rise in the cases registered under communal and religious riots all over the country from the year 2018 to 2020, according to an annexure submitted by the ministry of states in the ministry of home affairs to the Rajya Sabha on 2nd February 2022.  It was reported by The Diplomat that according to an independent hate crime tracker over 400 hate crimes were carried out against Muslims in India in the last four years.


To witness such salacious acts by young engineers from the land of magnificent engineers like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Sundar Pichai is both questionable and alarming. On one end, India is advancing with the growing technologies on the other end some people elevate Islamophobic, misogynistic and chauvinistic thoughts through such hate crimes, by misusing the technology and their skills.  For a young literate woman of the society to indulge and design a system that insults other women in the times when feminism is the most powerful force in the world is disturbing and suggests that with skill development, there’s a sheer need to inculcate morals, the feeling of womanism, unity, integrity and respect in the country.  


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