Since yesterday, head of a rising media start up is in the eye of the storm for allegedly sexually harassing a former employee. Since then, several women have made similar accusations against the individual. Accusations have been made on social media websites and as of now no formal complaint has been lodged. As is with anything attention grabbing, social media is abuzz with people taking sides. Some are sure it is done with intent to slander an up and coming young entrepreneur while others say that so many women could not all be lying and there must be a grain of truth in the charges. Basically, social media is doing what social media does best– believing the side of the story that suits their own theories best and being 100 percent certain of it without knowing even 1 percent of the facts. Then there are other twitter celebrities who are contributing their 2 cents (read “Aag mein ghee”) sounding either pious, disgusted, peacemakers or some downright stupid.
The truth remains none of us know what happened. At this point it doesn’t look too good for the accused but at the same time no FIR has been registered and till the time that happens it’s a case of ‘he said and she (they) said’. So why is it so difficult for us tweeple to be reasonable for once? Wait for the facts to come before slut shaming the girls or initiating virtual lynching of the guy.
I believe, that’s because at the end of the day we are all petty gossips. We are more tech savvy than the average neighborhood aunty, I will give us that. But that doesn’t change our real nature which is to have zero concern for facts and only focus on the Masala value of any topic. We don’t want something as silly as truth to ruin our fun. So off we go turning a blind eye to reason and logic, happily gallivanting in our gossip fairy land where every man is avaricious, money grabbing villain out to victimize fair maidens and every woman is a gold digging, ‘must-be-asking-for-it’ slut. And we are “insaaf ka devta/devi” the one who can see all, out to dispense real justice. Which makes me think, how gullible we are to any lie, half-truths that can be peddled to us by someone with an agenda. One just needs to be systematic and persistent and it will eventuality turn into fact. We all are susceptible to a well framed lie. Case in point – demonizing demonetization. That fateful night of 8th November, India as we know it ended. Lines outside ATMs killed people, farmers were ruined, and marriages were broken. And yet the suffering public still overwhelmingly voted for the same man who had subjected them to such horrors. Entities with hidden agendas had us believe that we had been pushed into the dark abyss of an economic disaster. And yet here we are, all ok.
I am digressing. Back to the point which is our gullibility combined with our propensity for gossip, utter disregard for facts amplified by the infinite reach that social media gives us , has turned us into these stupid, unbending, obnoxious, know it alls with a nuclear button in their hands. We can call someone a slut, a whore, pervert, without so much as a thought to how it might affect the other person. I personally do not support Gurmehar’s views for instance. But it was utterly reprehensible how a young girl’s harmless video with friends was circulated shared as a reflection of her “low character” and whatever that means.
So can we at least try to be a little more responsible and humane on social media? Before you start accusing me of supporting curbs on freedom of expression, this is not what it is about. It is in fact about not being obnoxious and taking a moment to feel that whatever I am writing is about another human being and not some digital bot at the other end of the device.
I would also like to mention here that I am in no way taking sides in the case mentioned at the beginning of the article. I solemnly swear that I don’t know any of the party involved from Adam. Neither in anyway is my intent to trivialize the accusations made. It’s a serious charge made by several women and it needs to be thoroughly investigated by competent authority. But at the same time, let’s realize that real people are involved here. There are women who allegedly have been victimized by a man in a position of power and I can’t begin to imagine how enraging that must be. On the other side the good name of a young entrepreneur is allegedly being maligned. Can we for once wait for the truth to come out before we again don our “judge wala blonde wig” to give ruling on the moral low lives of the world?