The space for serenity has disappeared, emotional tranquility has vanished and we are progressing towards a total intolerant and raging society. ‘Curse’- invoking the evil, in its literal sense- is today so luminously settled in our minds and lives that we don’t even get to know and understand it. The veil of darkness has spared nothing, not even the humanity.
Few days back, when ‘Shaktimaan’- the Uttarakhand Police Horse which was brutally amputated allegedly by the BJP MP Ganesh Joshi, social media was wept off by the wave of remorse and justice for the Horse. Hell yeah, that’s what I am talking about, the power (not curse) of the social media. And we are really enjoying it!
The heroic move by Shreya Singhal, last year, with respect to section 66-A brought a humongous expression of joy and freedom, all over the nation. Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of Indian Railways has been using his Twitter handle to address all the complaints. Government of India has launched many programs in forms of mobile applications and other social media platforms. Anna Hazare’s famous anti-corruption movement in 2011 was widely supported via social media. Not only this, when the people’s party i.e. Aam Aadmi Party registered its great victory in the capital, major chunk of election was based on social media. The workers of the party utilized the platform for canvassing, polls, trolls, hashtag wars etc. and it got successful because, it proved to be an effective tool for the people to get engage with. Today, almost every major political party has their designated heads or chiefs handling the social media platform; for example, INC declared Shashi Tharoor as its ‘Twitter in Chief’ as he had a great number of followers on his Twitter account.
The infamous and barbaric Dadri Lynching attack was also caused with the means social media only, when group of people shared the news of beef consumption at Akhlaq’s house, as a result of which mob gathered outside his house. The social media today has even endangered the future of the conventional media. In the nation like India, where the democracy is growing each day and youth is getting evolved, the influence of social media is snowballing and the space for the conventional media is shrinking. As compared to India, the western world is witnessing closure or downsizing of the mainstream media. Also, people now are not interested in relying on newspapers or televisions as their primary mode of information and entertainment. It’s a daily routine to observe a troll on leading anchors of the news portals. The viewers for the TV news portals have tumbled drastically. The line between the journalism and public relations (PR) is blurring rapidly.
From cricket scores to Bollywood gossips, scientific updates to social petitions, legal affairs to foreign events, music launch to economic scams, social media has able to integrate all these wide horizons under one effortless ‘click’. India’s intolerance issue got its different perspectives from the social media only. Then, be it the charismatic avatar of Kanhiya Kumar or the sensational dialog conducted by the Anupam Kher, or its audacious reply by the Barkha Dutt. The social media today is free and open space for debate and discussion.
Bullshit! I completely disagree. People uploaded several statuses and shared thousands of videos in solidarity to Akhlaq and his family, but then why today India is still debating on intolerance and related issues. Why animals are paying for the price of human insanity. Social media, today, is the other name of non-sense andhypocrisy. The one’s updating the status for the ‘International Women Day’ are the only one’s mistreating the nude selfie of Kim Kardashian. The cases related to fake dating events, rapes and murders can’t be ignored. The people who signed up for the Internet Free Basics got themselves trolled, along with the Facebook, when TRAI passed the order. Person, in his bio mentioning that works at RSS, is uploading a rainbow effected DP, when the US is accepting the gay rights, awesome that is. The open space offered by social media, is often utilized for setting up personal vendetta. Recently, the video of Delhi girls abusing the man in the metro after getting drunk got viral. Earlier, to that a Delhi girl posted a video of a Sikh boy, tagging it as an attack on her ‘modesty and respect’ which later turned out to be false. Many reputed organizations saw their employees subjected to worldwide scrutiny, when their video was posted on social media like Air India and Indian Railways. Craziness for selfies is so high that cases were reported where son actually took selfie with the corpse of his father or people lost their life in an attempt to create a selfie. We do not even know a person, but still he is on our friend list and his birthday appears on the list, let’s wish him/her. No doubt when it’s the genuine celebration, we are using the check-in option and uploading selfies and tagging the one’s whom we never met.
So, all the self-made upholders and protector of laws, suddenly when realizing something is going wrong utilizes their freedom of speech and expression, provided to them in the form of social media, exercises it and enjoy, recording the escalation in number of likes and views on their posts. Some of them do not even care to go to that extent, they simply make a troll and photo shop the face of Rahul Gandhi and share them on various groups. Couple had a messy break up, and the other partner decides to pull it out on the facebook, that’s how we are judging the veracity of the relationships in the modern era. Some classes of people are often flooded with communally sensitive information in their inbox, and by calling India intolerant on foreign based platforms like Facebook, what a wonderful jobs we are doing! Almost every family owns a WhatsApp group today, which is being utilized for avoiding time crisis, in turn promoting the convenience and ‘happiness’.
So, if we are ready to evaluate our life on the basis of trolls and hashtags, I think life will never be so sorted off and chilled. People like me have lost all hope in society and does not expect to be a better any sooner now. The level of hypocrisy, ignorance, bullshit the social media has instilled in our lives cannot be cured now and maybe that’s why it’s a curse. But, it’s a curse only for people like me; others are celebrating the growing followers and new relationship status on their profiles. So long live the social media!
(Views expresed above are the personal views of the author)
Author: Rishabh Shrivastava, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Analysis
Author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org