Dream

Reality Check Called Twitter

Posted on: June 5, 2012

We live in stranger times. Socializing on the social networking sites has sadly become all about poking fun at politicians, leaders, film-actors, cricketers, journalists and certain communities.

There’s a parallel universe called Twitter. The inhabitants of this universe are fondly known as tweeple or tweeps. What do these tweeps do? Most of the times they express their ideas on the current affairs. For example:-

  • Narendra Modi should be the next prime minister of India.
  • MMS is taking the country back to the stone age.
  • Team Anna is misguided and its intentions are not noble.
  • Satyameva Jayate is a money making exercise for the actor-turned-crusader Aamir Khan.
  • Shah Rukh Khan is a drug addict who has got an attitude problem.
  • Jr. Mallya is a rich brat with shaky morals who has no right to lecture how the future wives should behave.
  • Sachin Tendulkar should not become the Rajya Sabha MP under this corrupt government.

The list is endless. Hankering after the number of followers, Re-tweets and celebrity bashing are the main objectives. Everyday some or other famous personality becomes the butt of ridicule and victim of endless silly jokes lampooning him or her.

What does all this mean? What do these tweeps gain? Except a few new followers, Re-tweets and ego satisfaction there’s hardly anything else that they may gain.

The more intriguing aspect of this parallel universe is almost every famous person is a villain. It is as if we forget the fact that in the first place it is we the people who have made that person famous. Then why should we have any ill-will feelings towards that famous person aka celebrity?

Today Twitter verified Sagarika Ghose’s account and the entire twitterverse rose up in arms against her. Soon all kinds of jokes lampooning poor Sagarika began to do the rounds on twitter.

What happens when Twitter verifies your account? It is a sign of the fact that you’ve arrived on Twitter. The symbol that one’s Twitter account is verified is something akin to the MP’s car with a red beacon atop. It signifies that you are a VIP on Twitter, and nothing else.

Sagarika Ghose is one of the high profile journalists with quite a good number of followers on Twitter. If Twitter has deemed it fit to verify her account and bless it with that prestigious symbol of verified next to her name on her Twitter page, what’s the big deal?

What will happen when the favourite whipping boy of Twitter Kamaal R Khan’s account gets verified? Will the humour cross all the limits? How will tweeps deal with the not-so-politically-correct tweets emanating from the verified account of Kamaal R Khan?

One also shudders at the thought what will happen when Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister of India? How will the Modi brigade celebrate that occasion on Twitter? Maybe by blocking every anti-Modi tweeple?

There’s a clear cut divide along the caste and religion lines in the country. Some people object to the very term ‘secular’ which according to them has come to mean the appeasement of minorities. There are many people who  don’t like Muslims.

In this age of social media what is scarier is the fact that now people are spiting venom against Muslims openly. Nobody can see their faces since they’re tweeting from the safe cocoons of their houses and therefore they don’t mind expressing their hatred against Muslims without any reservations.

Is so much freedom of expression vis-a-vis Twitter or Facebook a bane or a boon? Another recent example that comes to mind is a tweet from someone whom I’ve come to hugely admire and respect on Twitter.

Mr. Kanchan Gupta is a well-known media personality and when he tweeted, “Mumbaikars: How tough is it for Muslims to find flats? True or part of fake victimhood narrative?” He was referring to an article published in The Hindu dated 03/06/2012. This tweet drew a sharp response from Mrs. Atiya Zaidi and soon there were heated arguments between the two idols whose tweets I immensely enjoy.

The Twitter is a perfect barometer to know which way the wind is blowing. It’s depressing to know that the Muslims are disliked so much and even more depressing is to know that nowadays people are expressing it on public forums. Why and how has the gulf between the two communities become so wide all of a sudden?

When the members of intelligentsia become so vocal about their dislike of a particular community, what hopes or expectations can one have from the common men? Twitter opens our eyes to a scary reality if not addressed properly on time, nobody can complain that there were no warning signals.

May the peace prevail forever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 Responses to "Reality Check Called Twitter"

Nice article. Let me try offering an explanation – India’s mainstream media doesn’t provide space for the kind of tweeple that you refer to above. The media also drives cottage industries such as victimhood and hum-rights. Twitter is now a platform to counter such narratives.

As for the Muslim hating bit, a whimper of a statement against “a muslim” (NOT muslims) is touted as being communal in the mainstream while rants of Zakir Naik, Shabuddins, Owaisis, Muftis, Deobandhis and venom-spewing Evangelists is considered secular, even righteous. People (on national media) think it is their duty to mention Taliban and RSS in the same breath so that they are not branded communal, no matter how inappropriate the comparison. Terms like saffron terror are invented and casually (and irresponsibly) thrown about. For all media houses fear being tagged as “India’s Fox News” or worse still “communal” by the vote-bank mongering government / politicians.

The anger caused by the above spills out in torrents (pun-intended) on twitter. It is an easy and convenient way to vent anger. So dont worry – nobody hates muslims, tweeples will not (and cannot) transform into intolerant barbarians – it is too tough for them, there is no scary reality, life will be just as peaceful.

Take the mainstream narrative broader beyond ‘ (pseudo?) secularism’, ‘quotas’ and ‘discrimination’. Twitter is just as narrow as the mainstream media- two sides of the sme coin. Make the media more inclusive and twitter will follow suit.

@ Aditya Mohan Thank you, sir. As long as broad minded people like you are around, India will continue to remain a secular nation. A big salute to you for taking the time out to offer an explanation. Touched.

Well said… make the media inclusive and twitter will follow suit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

@GheTa

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

  • 67,115 hits
%d bloggers like this: