Over 250 alumni from prestigious institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), the Xavier School of Management (XLRI), and Delhi University have written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, insisting strict and effective action against those alleged in the Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals apps cases. They also showed their support for people who have been attacked by the applications.
The alumni underlined their serious worry in the letter over the “constriction of the spaces for expression and participation of women, especially from minority groups, Dalit women and girls Women in India have never been more unsafe both in online and offline spaces. From physical harm to sexual violence to outright violation of dignity and rights in online spaces seems to have become commonplace enough for our political leaders to not notice anymore.” The letter stated that the government's response to these 'auctioning sites' for Muslim women had been slow.
It said, “added to this is the rising culture of hate and divisiveness in the country, which also affects women disproportionately. Incidents like Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai are manifestations of this culture that target women, minority women in these cases, for daring to have a voice of their own. Dalit women and girls have also been at the receiving end of violence in many spheres”.
The alumni encouraged the leaders to take swift action to bring justice to the mistreated women, claiming that “the silence of those at the helm” about such instances demonstrates apathy for women's safety and emboldens the perpetrators of hate crimes.
According to the letter, “we are writing this open letter expressing our solidarity with women and girls who have to face this violence.”
They requested that the creators of these applications be prosecuted, that the government denounce such hate-motivated actions/speeches, and that the present administration cooperate with IT and media businesses to guarantee responsibility in maintaining such channels safe for women.
They also asked the government to develop school curricula that involve young girls and boys from an early age in discussions on good masculinity, gender, and gender socialisation.