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Ujjain: Outrage After Queer Teenager Dies by Suicide, Faced Online Bullying

Pranshu was a self-taught makeup artist who often faced online bullying on their social media handle.
Pranshu was a self-taught makeup artist who often faced online bullying on their social media handle.

Image Courtesy: Instagram

Delhi: Pranshu, a 16-year-old queer make-up artist and social media influencer from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, died by suicide on November 21 following rampant online bullying. Their death has sparked outrage among queer activists and allies on social media and raised the question of how safe online spaces are for queer people. 

NewsClick cannot independently confirm whether the online bullying led to their suicide. However, the last post on their instagram handle @glamitupwithpranshu that shows them wearing a saree on the occasion of Diwali went viral and received many hateful comments. Several social media handles speaking on the incident have alleged that the hatred faced by Pranshu led up to their suicide. 

“Why is no attention being paid to the fact that a 16-year-old faced hate comments online for doing something they not only loved, but were also good at? This negativity needs to be checked and curtailed,” said Preeti Yadav, Pranshu’s mother, while speaking to The Quint. 

Preeti added that her child was inspired by American YouTuber and makeup artist James Charles . She further said, “My child was supremely talented. They did nothing wrong. I am proud of them.” She also mentioned that she lived with Pranshu alone and supported their work. 

Speaking to the media, the local police said that Pranshu was alone at home when they died by suicide. The police added that they have seized Pranshu’s mobile phone for investigation and will take in account theirs social media handles and WhatsApp. A six-member SIT team has also been formed to probe into the matter, The Print reported 

Pranshu was a self-taught makeup artist and had garnered nearly 22,000 followers on Instagram. They  posted makeup and beauty content from their handle and often received hateful comments homophobic in nature. It escalated immensely after their Diwali reel was posted, which received thousands of comments, mostly containing abusive content. 

Following Pranshu’s death, demands for justice for the teenager were raised at the Delhi Queer Pride parade on November 27 where many were seen shouting slogans and carrying banners and placards regarding the same. 

Expressing pain over Pranshu's death, noted transgender actor of the 'Made in Heaven' fame, doctor and content creator Trinetra Haldar Gummarahu said on Instagram, "A child is gone. Just like that. So, so angry. How many more queer children do we lose? There was Arvey Malhotra, today there is Pranshu, and tomorrow there will be more."

Trans rights activist Kalki Subramaniam posted on X condemning the online bullying that allegedly led to Pranshu taking their own life. 

Calling the incident a “social murder”, the Student Federation of India's JNU unit urged the bullying to be protested.

Pranshu, a 16 year old artist from Ujjain died by suicide following consistent queer phobic bullying they faced online. SFI JNU strongly condemns the hate and attack against Pranshu and calls for a strong united struggle for queer liberation and gender justice,” the SFI JNU instagram handle said. 

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