...How Sunil Tripathi became a victim
Somewhere in all this frenzy, an ignorant overzealous Redditor posted a photo of a 22-year old Indian American student from Brown University who went missing on 16 March. A link had been established. In the world of breaking news where speed far outweighs fact-checking, one potential marathon bombing suspect had been identified. This was a “breakthrough”. What followed, however, especially the reaction from fellow Indians, was horrifying for those of us living away from our country of origin. With each passing tweet, the chorus to establish Tripathi’s guilt grew. And with it, grew the fear of retribution that the Indian community in the US would likely face in the coming days. “Secular liberals” on Twitter approached this piece of news with glee. For them, he became an embodiment of “Hindu terror” and they finally had a face to prove their theory. They tweeted, retweeted, got into arguments, and generally felt vindicated that they had been right all along. Those on the Right side of the political divide felt attacked. They vigorously defended Tripathi and his family and relied on the lack of incriminating evidence to absolve his name. One wonders if they would’ve been as assiduous in their efforts to prove his innocence if the alleged suspect had been an Indian Muslim.