A meme controversy has been brewing up on the internet the past week. Dozens of meme-pages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social medias have been extensively making and sharing memes about Sikhs, the Sikh faith and the Sikh Gurus. This has offended a huge number of the Sikh netizens.
No one knows where and why it started, however, the controversy came to the limelight after Raftaar took it on himself to stop these memes. Raftaar is a singer and rapper famous for Punjabi-hits such as “All Black” and “Sheran di Qaum Punjabi”, and bollywood-hits such as “Dhaakad.”
He posted a screenshot of one meme page then-called ‘Offensive Humour’, asking followers to mass-report the page. The meme page received a huge amount of attention and also claimed to have received death threats to its admins, and went into an all-out “war” with Raftaar.
An online petition signatured 35,000 addressed to Mark Zuckerberg was also started to get the meme page removed from Instagram. The page has since changed its name, removed the display picture and gone private (i.e available only to its followers.)
However, the controversy has moved onto Facebook. Several facebook meme pages, riding on the hype, posted several of the memes and even made such new ones. They also received widespread opposition from Sikh and Punjabi facebook users. Many of these pages also claimed to have received death threats, with one such page also posting a screenshot of one death threat it had received.
The comment section of the memes they posted is also filled with such threats and people asking for their addresses. In an irony of sorts, the pages started making memes out of the threats as well. Some of these pages have been deleted.
Raftaar seems to have moved on after posting a picture targetting atheists on Instagram. New meme pages by the name of the one he posted about have also come up, while the original one also remains alas not public. People also claim that the admins of the original page have been booked (for crimes unspecified). The Instagram meme-page (@the_true_shit) has gone back to its previous name and now public, and resumed posting memes. It has posted several videos of Sikh activists approaching the police and politicians in Delhi. The controversy goes on for now.
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