Thiruvananthapuram: Cyber bullying has claimed one more life in Kerala. This time the victim is Praveen Nath, who consumed poison after he faced cyber-attack based on a rumor that his marriage with transgender woman Rishana Aishu was heading for a split. After Praveen’s death, a distraught Rishana Aishu attempted to end her life.
Praveen Nath, transgender man, had won the Mister Kerala contest in the transgender category in 2021. He had also reached the final rounds of an international body building championship in 2022. He was also the member and co-ordinator of Sahayathrika, an organization working for the LGBTQ community.
Praveen’s marriage with Rishana Aishu this year on Valentine’s Day had garnered a lot of attention and their photos went viral on social media.
Recently after a fight, Praveen had posted on social media that he was ending his relationship with Rishana. He quickly deleted the post and clarified that he posted it on the spur of the moment. He also said that they were still together.
However, the social media spread the news that they were separating and it resulted in a cyber-attack against Praveen, who could not bear the toxicity of the messages. Feeling upset about this, he consumed poison and died at his home in Trissur.
Rishana, hearing of Praveen’s death, also consumed poison. Fortunately, she is out of danger and is under treatment at the Trissur Medical College. The LGBTQ community in Kerala has approached the Kerala CM and the DGP to take action against online media and others who cyber bullied Praveen, whom they claim to be behind the suicide of Praveen Nath.
Praveen, the first transgender body builder in Kerala, and Rishana, who is a beauty contest winner, had their lives all set and a hopeful future laid in front of them. However, social media scrutiny and toxic comments led to their happy lives being destroyed within moments.
This is the second suicide this week as a result of cyber-attack. A few days back, a native of Kottayam, Athira, committed suicide after facing cyber-bullying by her former boyfriend Arun Vidyadharan.
Arun kept posting pictures of them together on social media and kept abusing her. She had even registered a case against Arun at the Kaduthuruthy police station.
After police launched a manhunt for Arun, he was found dead in a lodge. Apparently he had committed suicide.
These tragic incidents show just how dangerous the social media world can become. A person’s reputation and dignity is destroyed within seconds.
It is hard for people living normal lives to face the sudden amount of hatred on social media, even from those whom they have not met in their entire life. This has the potential to wreck people’s mental peace and drive them towards depression and even to suicide.
The Kerala police must be more vigilant and take immediate actions against cyber bullying. Laws must be strengthened to bring the perpetrators to justice. But for now, many cyber villains are hiding behind their screens and wrecking the life of some innocent person.