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My advice to twitter users

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Rishi Khemani
Rishi Khemani
A keen observer of national politics and everything falling on its left and right.

After what’s being said and reiterated in the recent DU case, that also went on to involve a young girl, one can easily make some observations. We can see how the goalposts shift during the course of debate and discussion, how people who are under fire manage to get away by pointing out the abuses hurled towards them from those who disagree with them. These people with ‘blue ticks’ are clever enough to only reply to tweets that contain abuses and curses and this is how the whole issue gets diluted and the focus shifts to civility of the debate. Do we really want that to happen?

I am an ardent supporter of the present government, its policies and actions but I refrain from using words like ‘anti-national’, ‘presstitutes’ and ‘AAPtards’. This is because I believe that name-calling serves no purpose. On the other hand, I also think that calling every Modi/Government supporter a ‘Bhakt’ or ‘Sanghi’ is just foolish.

In the recent instance, the message laid out in an old video featuring a young girl, daughter of a martyr, has become a moot point. Many of her supporters say that she used ‘Pakistan’ figuratively in her message but still I would never agree to accept anything that absolves Pakistan of the crimes it has been committing against our nation through proxy wars and terrorism. But then this is my opinion which is not in line with hers and I want to put it in a civil manner so that it can be taken as a point and not blown off as an abuse. This girl has been receiving all kinds of abuses including some rape threats after her old video came up.

Now what has this done? This has put into question the stand of all the people who displayed their disagreement with the girl’s message in the video. Some of these people also include our beloved sports stars and Bollywood personalities. Their tweets have been intentionally misinterpreted just because they voiced their opposition to her message in that video. However, all of these stars have condemned the rape threats against the girl in every public interaction that followed.

Now we can clearly see how the focus which was initially concentrated on the sloganeering in these universities shifted to that girl and her video and finally landed on the civility of twitter debates and has remained there ever since. The parties and the people we voice our opinion against get away by using the ‘obvious’ even without inquiring into these matters. They get another chance to blame the organization and the cause we support. When are we going to learn to stop making issues out of nothing and heroes out of nobody?

Every well-framed opinion gets vilified by the media just because of a few abusive comments elsewhere. And we don’t even know if people who post such vile things actually support our cause. In my opinion, they don’t. Conspiracy theories would also suggest that people from the opposition camp, working against us, can be behind such twitter abuses as they don’t want a debate based on facts and this provides them an escape route. So I would advise the people opposing the view of that girl to keep the debate civil and deplore the use of swearwords against her. Twitter is for opinions and counters, we should let it be that way. Opine with definite viewpoints, not with profanity. Petty-minded bigots should be beaten, but with factual arguments. Filth can never do what a sharp well founded critique does.

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Rishi Khemani
Rishi Khemani
A keen observer of national politics and everything falling on its left and right.
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