SIT Probes Suicide of Queer Teen Pranshu Amidst Surge of Hate Comments

16-year-old queer artist, Pranshu from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, tragically took their own life on 21st November in the wake of receiving numerous hate comments on an Instagram reel they shared. Pranshu, a self-taught makeup artist, managed an Instagram account featuring makeup and beauty content. On Diwali, the teenager posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.

Ujjain- Advocating for queer rights remains a challenging journey in our country. Individuals, including young children, face abuse simply for expressing their true identity. A recent tragic incident involves the suicide of Pranshu, a queer artist and influencer, who received a string of hate comments on an Instagram reel of them wearing a Sari during Diwali. The Ujjain police have elevated the significance of the case, establishing a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to delve into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The teenager's mobile phone has been submitted for forensic analysis, and Pranshu's social media profiles and WhatsApp account have been retained for the investigation, according to Ujjain Superintendent of Police Sachin Sharma. He mentioned the formation of a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to explore the factors that may have led the teenager to resort to such a drastic measure.

Unfortunately, even death is not a relief for some people in a conservative society. The influencer’s comment section is still garnering remarks, which are hateful, homophobic and transphobic in nature. Many are cheering for the child’s death and claiming one more “burden” has been removed from the earth.

Many individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community shared their sorrow and criticized platforms such as Instagram, X (formally Twitter), and Facebook for their perceived inadequacy in addressing cyberbullying.

#JusticeforPranshu in Instagram has fewer than 133 posts, as many were flagged for being against the ‘community guidelines.’ Surprisingly, hate comments and trolls do not receive the same level of scrutiny on the platform. Actor and Activist Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju took to Instagram to say, “#JusticeForPranshu shows almost no posts, because some apparently violate community guidelines. There have been times I’ve reported profiles spewing absolute and pure hate with 60k+ followers personally to Meta folks we know. They don’t get taken down.” She further asked, “what is the point of creating content, really, if the kids aren’t safe? Neither online nor offline? What has changed?” Online platforms like Instagram, which is owned by Meta, have repeatedly failed to provide a safe space to people from the Queer community.

Pranshu with his mother
Pranshu with his mother

An Emotional Appeal from the Mother of Pranshu

Journalist Shivangi Saxena had a conversation with Pranshu's mother Preeti who works in the pharma industry for the last 20 years. She took to Instagram to post a part of the conversation, which quoted the mother saying, “my son was a self-taught make-up artist. I was proud of him. In fact I was saving money to send him to Mumbai after his 12th. Pranshu and I are living together alone. Last year Pranshu came out as queer to me. He politely said, 'Mumma, I feel attracted to both girls and boys...' I never opposed him. Nor did I ever stop him from doing Makeup. As a single parent you have to bear much economic stress. To pursue his passion, Pranshu worked hard every day, learning makeup from YouTube. He was inspired by James Charles, Ella and other creators and always wanted to meet them. I thought James and he looked similar.”

“Pranshu was mature above his age. He knew how to handle hate comments. In fact, we used to laugh on trollers together. He was a hard-working child. Yesterday morning he took an off from tuition because he had exam and wanted to study at home. I had talked to him at 10:00 AM in the morning which I never thought would be my last interaction with Pranshu. The only thing that is hurting me right now is why he had not called me just once. Wherever he is now, he is a gem. I lost my only child. I want to convey this to every parent- let your child choose what she/he/they wants to become. Accept them as they are. It is extremely hard for children from small cities to open about their identity. I am proud of Pranshu.”

Pranshu’s Suicide- A Backstory

A 16-year-old queer artist, identified as Pranshu from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, tragically took their own life on 21st November in the wake of receiving numerous hate comments on an Instagram reel they shared. Pranshu, a self-taught makeup artist, managed an Instagram account featuring makeup and beauty content. On Diwali, the teenager posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.

Pranshu is not the First, Unfortunately May Not Be the Last. Arvey Malhotra, a 10th-grade student at DPS Greater Faridabad, found joy in expressing themself through clothing labelled as 'feminine,' embracing makeup, cherishing jewelry, and relishing his passion for fashion. Unfortunately, his unconventional choices subjected him to ridicule and name-calling within his school. As Arvey progressed to the 9th grade, the situation worsened, culminating in a distressing incident where he revealed to his mother, Aarti, that he had been coerced to undress by fellow classmates.

Despite Aarti's complaints to the school authorities regarding Arvey's exposure to lewd comments and bullying, they consistently downplayed the issue, accusing them of taking advantage of the situation. The persistent harassment eventually took a severe toll on Arvey, leading him to tragically take his own life. On February 24, 2022, in the absence of his mother, Arvey Malhotra jumped from the top floor of his residential building.

Also Read-

On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
Delhi Queer Pride 2023: A Celebration of Love and Identity
On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
" Tired of Running and Hiding”- DFA Petitioner's Struggle for Queer Relationship Recognition
On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
Can a Parliament That Ridiculed Tharoor for LGBTQ Support, Legalize Same-Sex Marriage? India's First Petitioners Assert 'No Way'!
On Diwali, Pranshu posted a transition reel in a saree, which unfortunately attracted over 4,000 hate comments.
I Am Joyita: A Voyage of Identity and Resilience of India's First Transgender Judge

You can also join our WhatsApp group to get premium and selected news of The Mooknayak on WhatsApp. Click here to join the WhatsApp group.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The Mooknayak English - Voice Of The Voiceless
en.themooknayak.com