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Noise on Social Networks
If the social media mirrors our general thinking, then we must, I guess, be ashamed as a nation. Consider these:

2014

The reaction on Twitter and Facebook to India’s defeat in the T20 world cup was pathetic.

Yuvraj Singh, the hero of the 2007 and 2011 world cups and the man who fought cancer to be back in the Indian team, was pilloried. One guy wrote: “this is the day the doctors would have wished that they had not saved Yuvraj.”  Another was more direct. “I wish Yuvraj had died of cancer.”  If there was anything that was disgusting it was this.

We want others to perform to world-class standards more so in sports when in most areas we are ourselves not up to reasonable mark. Those who call this desire -patriotism have sadly no notion of what patriotism constitutes. Patriotism is about not jumping traffic lanes and traffic signals, it’s about not bribing the cop, it’s about helping keep the surrounding clean and it’s looking beyond “I-me-my-mine”.  I have stopped at traffic signals when it has turned amber early in the morning to be watched and waved mockingly by those who drive their motor vehicles and cars.  Patriotism is also not only about casting vote; it is about conducting oneself with dignity and grace.

 

Also 2014

The week marked new lows. First came fan-boy (well that’s an euphemism) Giriraj Singh’s stunning remark that those who criticise Modi should go to Pakistan. And quickly later came loud-mouthed Pravin Togadia’s gem on where he thinks Muslims should live and of how and why we should not worry about the law. To use the language of Arun Jaitley: “who the hell are these men to suggest who should stay where?”  The least that one expected from the BJP was to sack the fan-boy and suspend the oncologist pending enquiry. Not only did that not happen, but also a certain spokesperson indirectly defended them in a TV discussion and simply shouted others out.

I turned to the social media. And there one saw worse. Simple cacophony of who had done what in the past with phrases like dog, pig,.. littered freely. So those of us who were thinking that a change in governance would bring us new set of good thinking people is sadly mistaken.  We have amidst us rabble-rousing, small-minded men and women who simply vent their frustration out unproductively. Sad!

Right now there is the tribe, which believes that voting is not just a right, but also an obligation. It’s the type that completely forgets about 49-O and the court ruling thereon. It’s the type that completely forgets that major events like IPL also gets organised during the polling phase, which means that the organisers are okay with people not voting. Not voting is as much a right as voting. Well, you can disagree but there needs to be a nuanced argument. Walk into social networking services and you will find the language again pathetically sub-standard. And the choicest abuses come from those who live abroad! That’s the ultimate joke.

 

2004

I still remember in 2004 when in the aftermath of Dr Manmohan Singh taking up the high office of prime minister, I had said that it was incredible and unbelievable that Sonia Gandhi had renounced power. I had said that out of a genuine feeling given how politicians fight for the fishes and loaves of office. OMG, I was barraged with how Sonia was mafia, how Dr. Kalam had refused to make her prime minister blah, blah and blah. This when they had no proof of it and notwithstanding Kalam’s later assertion that he had done no such thing.

 

Moral: the more the things change the more they remain the same.

Coming from me who perceives himself as an eternal optimist, this is sad indeed.

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