'Trads' – that's a word that we have been hearing quite often in connection with the Sulli Deals and the Bulli Bai investigations.
This word officially came to light when the Delhi Police arrested two accused in the Bulli Bai case, Aumkareshwar Thakur and Niraj Bishnoi, who claimed that they both were part of the online group 'trads.'
So far, the Hindu right-wing groups in India have been seen as a single entity, with a common ideology of propagating larger Hindutva values. However, the recent Bulli Bai app controversy, where photos of over 100 Muslim women activists and journalists were put on an app in a mock 'auction,' has shed light over a by-product of this radical ecosystem, known by the terms 'trads' and 'raitas.'
In this episode, we will try to unpack what exactly these groups are. What ideology do they follow? How do you recognise one in the wild, and how do they fit into the entire propaganda ecosystem?
To decode these questions, we spoke with journalist Alishan Jafri, who works with The Wire’s Hate Watch team and has been following these groups online closely.