‘Exploitation’: Twitter as Rail Min Shares Photos of Women Coolies

The post triggered a storm of tweets with people saying that it showed “inhumane working conditions.”

Published
India
1 min read
 The post triggered a storm of tweets with people calling it “poverty porn” and that it showed “inhumane working conditions.”
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The Ministry of Railways on Wednesday, 4 March, posted a bunch of photos of ‘women coolies’, tweeting that they are “second to none.” The post, however, triggered a storm of tweets with people calling it “poverty porn” and that it showed “inhumane” working conditions.

Journalist Rohini Singh, who triggered the Twitter storm, said that the post was a “reflection” that our country is “struggling to provide truly dignified jobs.”

'Primitive Practice,’ Says Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader and parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor said that India must be “ashamed” of this primitive practice, calling it “exploitation of poor women.”

Debate Over the Word ‘Coolie’

Twitter was divided over the usage of the world “coolie.” While some questioned why women can’t work as porters, Singh said that no one should be “lifting bags like animals in 2020.”

People also took to the micro-blogging platform to point out that “coolie” was used as a slur by the British.

Incidentally, Suresh Prabhu, the railway minister in 2016, tweeted that the government was renaming “coolies” as “sahayaks” to shed the “negative colonial connotation.”

‘Why Can’t It Be Celebrated’

Amid criticism, many also pointed that women are “equally capable” in every field of work and that they deserved to be celebrated.

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