Social Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become the beehive of unwanted activity of late buzzing with social, political, and religious abuses. This is obviously due to provocative hate mongers spread all over these sites. These serial abusers are actually fuelled by different and rather terrifying sources be it political or otherwise. Their intention and goal is to incite negativity in the people by attacking the most sensitive thing i.e. religious beliefs. Some do it for political advantage, others to cause a ruckus, whatever the reason it is simply unacceptable. What is disturbing is the fact that some choose to be unaware of this situation.
From the experience of the last few months on Twitter and Facebook, I have realised the fact that what we were taught in black and white in school days is totally opposite to the real condition of Indian politics, meaning of freedom of expression, and the way of governance in all its practicality. What I have and I am sure you too have read is the opening lines to the Preamble, "We the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic and to secure to all its citizens . . ." Have we truly accepted secularism? Well I can't really vouch for it because I am not treated as an equal because of my religious beliefs. You may ask, Why? Take the example of my own brother who has been at the receiving end of a lot of public hatred and all because he chose to use his freedom of expression and support the political party of his choice. Which party and why is really not the concern here. The point is he was targeted on the basis of him being a Muslim. My question is, should my religion be my impediment in exercising my freedom of thought expression? I am a teenager who has just stepped in the virtual world relating his bookish knowledge trying to find a connect between the virtual and the real world. There are two different questions in front of me: Were my teachers who spent hours unravelling the definitions of those words to me, wrong? OR has the definition of Secularism been altered by people over time?
Many of us had come across these types of situations in our journey through social networking sites, which is increasingly getting converted to the means of social disconnecting site. I am not an addictive user of Facebook though, once I did come across the hate mongers, my curiosity was aroused. I wanted to know what they were, but little did I know that my curiosity would pay me so heavily.
The blasphemous film trailer on the Prophet Mohammed was revolting was debated and caused violence in many places. As a believer in Islam I was hurt by the visuals. But amidst all this dishonour that people had brought my religion I was also brought face to face with another positive side of reality. It was heartening to note that amidst all this anti – religious sentiments of a few is the equivocal rebuttal by not only Muslims but by people from other faiths who reacted sharply to this incident. It would take long to mention all so here is just one of the reactions that of a Hindu brother, Nitish Bhardwaj who tweeted: "The Anti- Islamic video is such a disastrous misuse of the right to expression that it SCARES me. Those responsible are the sick pathetic fiends.
This incident was highlighted globally so everyone knows but do you know that there are many more such pages created each day and millions of people are viewing pages that have been created with a view to stir anger and hatred to members of different ethnic and religious groups. More blasphemous materials related to religions are constantly being circulated on many of the Facebook pages by fanatics. Everyone knows that we love our Prophet (PBUH) and our Holy book Qur’an more than our life just like a Christian would hold his faith and a Hindu would guard his. The distasteful targeting of people on the basis of religion is only filling young people with anger and hatred towards people of other faiths and beliefs. Young people are led to believe twisted ideas. These social networking sites are only adding fuel to the fire. I have come across the images of Qur’an in the gutter, and its burning photos on Facebook and what I am waiting to ask these people is, “What have you achieved?”
I don’t know who would want to spread so much negativity, but I hope they are reading this, because I want to tell them that they cannot and will not achieve anything. For you if it seems a rare case but, if you think carefully an ocean is created drop by drop. Where are we as a global community headed? If you think carefully these miscreants could have been intelligent asset of the country and the world at large, but they have lost their way being paid and misused by wrong peers and wrong company. They represent unnecessary trivia in such a way that the youngsters can easily accept it to be right.
We as a country have accepted secularism on paper, now all we have to do is to inspire our young people to accept this principle and condition them in a way that they are not easily influenced by these miscreants who are waiting to spread hatred and unrest by using religion as a weapon.
The writer is a young Doctor in the making keenly interested in Child Psychology. He believes his ultimate aim is 'To Serve The Society, Giving Voice To Voiceless.'