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Virtual bigotry, real impact

Virtual bigotry, real impact

In these times taken over by the gushing waves of social media, wafting adrift into the virtual realm of window-displayed reality is inevitable to the changing dynamics of information, awareness, society, and perception in general. It may be analysed that access to social media gives a certain amount of added freedom for one to speak their mind but it is as much a fact that such freedom to express directly and blatantly can have an effect in extremes: either be too passive to count or stir up a controversy of unforeseen scale. It is the latter aspect that makes headlines – and what lends value to such news is all that which leads to the controversial comments. Two instances in the past week shed copious amounts of light on what the modern phenomenon of 'trolls' throws up presenting the grim face of a deteriorating society.

The frequently repeated instances of rape and crime against women and the lack of any method to address the concern have desensitised people to the gravity of such horrendousness. The spokesperson of Congress was unabashedly and with least of deterrence issued a threat on Twitter when a certain miscreant expressed his desire to rape her (minor) daughter out of apparent grudge against her. The Home Ministry took cognizance of the matter and brought the culprit to book. The misdeed is incriminated on the grounds of the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, provisions of the Information Technology Act, and the Indian Penal Code. Another embarrassing instance was when a respected and senior politician, Minister for external affairs, Sushma Swaraj was trolled for helping an inter-faith couple get their passport made – for dutifully doing her job. Her support extended to Muslim community was not appreciated by some people and it was proposed that her husband (another respectable figure, former Governor of Mizoram) beat her up for what she did. Social media was suppose to change our lives for the better and bring closer people distanced by time, geography and culture. Misuse and abuse of this powerful means only betray the reality of a degrading society and people.

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