Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
As if mainstream media wasn’t enough, social media too is now falling into the same rut. There is a slight difference though: while journalists working in mainstream media are answerable to their bosses and hence, follow a particular line of writing, there are no such limitations on social media. The result: all the wannabe journalists are testing their skills on Facebook, twitter, G+, Whatsapp and whatever place they can lay their hands on or shall I say make their account on… And since these people are not answerable to anyone accept their own conscience, they are really going crazy with their vitriolic 100-word write-ups. Most of the content I get to read on social media is clearly written with an intent to grab attention of all and sundry and is downright repugnant.
The Congress supporters are spewing venom against BJP and the BJP supporters are doing so against the Congress. No one bothers to do the fact checking and gives two hoots to the harm that he/ she is doing to the fabric of the society by this hate-mongering. Are they getting monetarily compensated for this? I have no idea. What pains me is the hate that is spread… the impressionable minds that are being affected…
I have two recent examples with me. One is the demise of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the other the floods that are playing havoc in Kerala.
The social media is replete with comments like Vajpayee’s demise was kept a secret so that PM Narendra Modi could have his address to the nation on I-Day. Some innovative souls even morphed pictures to show Modi in poor light.
Some others wrote about all the failures of Vajpayee including the Pokhran nuclear tests and the Kargil war and the sanctions the US put on India, conveniently forgetting these tests made our country India a power to reckon with and the sanctions the US put in haste were soon withdrawn. My question is why? Isn’t half-truth worse than a lie? Nuclear tests at that juncture was the most required thing.
There also are nasty comments about the PM and his Cabinet walking on Atalji’s last journey. Isn’t it strange? Isn’t this a part of our culture, all cultures, be it Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians. Modi did nothing new or out-of-the-box. Such a thing is expected.
On the other side of the spectrum are those who are praising Vajpayee to sky-high; there seems a competition on social media to “share their Atal moment” with public — “pronouncing my Atal-moment is better than yours”. Come on people, I know Vajpayee was indeed a great leader and an able statesman but he had his pluses and minuses, like each one of us. Why go overboard with that? by the way, how many of you actually spared few moments of your precious time to be with Atalji when he was unwell all those years?… So, why this show of love now??
The next is Kerala floods. The southern state is reeling under a natural calamity. There has been massive loss of life and property but people are using even this as a chance to get ‘likes’ on their Facebook profiles — no, not by doing something constructive to help the victims but again by bringing politics in it. One enterprising Facebook user has stated that the Central government has not done a bit for the state, no money has been earmarked for the victims, conveniently forgetting that it is the Indian Army, the IAF and the Navy doing rescue operations in the state.
News agency ANI has reported that the PM relief fund is giving Rs 50,000 to each injured person in floods and Rs 2 lakh to the next of the kin of each deceased. According to a news report in The Hindu dated August 18, 2018,
“soon after a review meeting at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Saturday to discuss the devastating floods in Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an interim relief of Rs 500 crore against a demand of Rs 2,000 crore made by the state government. This is apart from the Central assistance of Rs 100 announced ealier.”
The state is under immense strife, and the government, the Defence Forces as well as some NGOs are doing all they can to rescue people, provide relief.
So people, why can’t you get over your petty politics and STOP spewing venom on social media with your illogical comments and statements that are not backed by facts.
For a change: get to ground zero and work rather than doing this armchair relief work to garner some likes… it does nothing to enhance your profile, it only shows you in a poor light, a very, very poor light.
The photographs used in this article are courtesy News18, New Indian Express, ANI and Press Information Bureau