Social media trolls get abusive, inhuman

Social media trolls get abusive, inhuman
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Social media trolls get abusive, inhuman

Highlights

India lost an intelligent defence leader and world lost an experienced army strategist.

India lost an intelligent defence leader and world lost an experienced army strategist. But some of us are not civilised enough to show respect he deserves or mourn or be silent for any reason. The way some of them responded, celebrated, expressed happiness through emojis on his death is unwelcome. It is quite inhuman and cruel reflecting the abusive attitude or sick mind. It is clear case of abuse of our constitutional right.

What can law do against these sick people? Karnataka Chief Minister directed the police to initiate legal action against the people who had tweeted celebrating the accidental demise of the Chief of Defence Staff. Two cases were booked for posting objectionable content in social media in Karnataka. Karnataka CM wanted to trace the persons who posted smileys and prosecute them. He said it is highly condemnable that irresponsible tweets are being on the high-ranking official who was leading the army of our nation. There is no question of pardoning such acts. They will be traced and punished, said the CM.

According to media reports, eight people have been arrested, two booked and one suspended from a government job across the country for their social media posts in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Pratapgarh police in Rajasthan arrested two young men for posting offensive remarks that hurt public sentiments. One more was arrested for inappropriate remarks on Instagram which could promote enmity between communities. The Jammu and Kashmir Bank suspended one of its staff members for allegedly reacting to a news story on the chopper crash with a laughing emoticon. "The contents are purely defamatory and not in consonance with conduct rules governing the service of the employee," the suspension order said. DMK supporters were mocked the death of army commander.

Police used Section 505 (2) of Indian Penal Cod which penalises making statements with intention to cause public mischief or alarm to public. The arrested were sent to judicial custody. In Gujarat police used Sections 153 (giving provocation with an intention to cause riot), 153 (B) (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 505 (1B) (intent to incite and create fear among the public) and Information Technology Act 84 (c) (punishment for an attempt to commit offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

A tribal youth leader, Durgesh Vaskale, was arrested on Saturday in Khandwa district. BJP leader wanted some to be prosecuted under National Security Act. A shopkeeper identified as Mohammad Shafi was arrested in Rajouri district, under preventive detention.

Quitting the religion

When Malayalam film director Ali Akbar and his family have decided to quit Islam and return back to Sanatan Dharma in protest against Jihadi celebrations when Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat attained martyrdom along 12 others in chopper crash, it became sensation in social media circles and was circulated in various groups. Akbar became a rallying point to condemn unabashed posting of smileys at the tragedy in social media.

Ali Akbar declared that he and his wife Lucyamma will convert into Hinduism and will no longer be Muslims. He decided to renounce his Islamic faith as he was pained to see several Muslims posted smiley emotions below the posts and comments in social media relating to the tragedy. He has also announced his new name- Ramasimhan, after the conversion. He is searching for the processes to be followed formally to embrace the Hinduism and also a name for his wife. He raised another important point that top leaders of Islam are not opposing such actions by some anti-national elements that reached the extent of dishonouring a brave military officer.

The inhuman side of these reactions and reasonless rejoice of some fanatics of religion pains every person. The ugly use of social media is the abusive side of the platform for disturbing the society with extreme inhuman reactions like this. In some tweets and Facebook posts the language is highly objectionable. They cannot be reprinted even to illustrate.

It is reported that Ali Akbar has condemned some of such hate speech expressions and baseless disrespect shown to Chief of Defence Forces. For this Akbar was slammed and trolled while some liked his spirit. In another post, Akbar has even asked that nation should identify those posted smiles at the death of CDS and punish him. This looks like a new social media crime, which is difficult to be tolerated and also complicated to punish. Akbar's new post also received mixed response. When a newspaper contacted Akbar tried to find reasons for majority of users who commented with happy expressions and celebrated the death news being Muslims, saying perhaps it was "because Rawat has taken several actions against Pakistan and Militants in Kashmir. Despite seeing these public posts, which insulted a brave officer and the nation, any of top Muslim leaders did not react. I cannot live being part of such a religion."

Akbar said that he would not force his two daughters to convert as it was their choice and freedom and it was for them to decide. Akbar was a state committee member of BJP till recently until he quit that over some disagreement with the party leadership. It is also reported that in 2015 he revealed that he was sexually abused by an Usthad during his days in Madrasa.

It's sad to note the degeneration of human values that some Jihadi groups and some Islamists started showing their happiness or rejoice on social media platforms at the demise of the India's chief soldier. The Kashmiriyat News, a newspaper has published the reactions of some people on Facebook. The screen shot of this news was published by a Twitter user Smoking Skills showing how some Islamists were notably laughing and rejoicing at the crash.

Another controversial statement was made by Resmitha Ramachandran on Facebook. She was unkind towards the General. She had summarised her highly-critical five-point post titled 'How I remember Bipin Laxman Singh Rawat PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC'….death doesn't make a person holy. Her post was highly criticised by Kerala BJP, who also demanded a legal action against her for this disrespect. She was criticising the award of commendation to Major Leetul Gogoi who raised controversy by his action of tying a civilian to the front of jeep to prevent stoning from miscreants and some other four points on his actions. Several persons reacted to this posting and he was criticised.

A TV digital media has conducted a poll regarding possible abuse of freedom of speech and expression in posting insensitive remarks against Rawat. An overwhelming majority of people think that a fringe section was misusing social media to spread hate. 90 percent of the participants were opposed to such misuse. A small 6.7 per cent of them don't find it wrong.

When our cricket team lost to Pakistan during the recent campaign for world cup, the way the freedom was abused to malign a cricketer on communal lines was the symbol of low of our civilisation. Celebrating a tragic death of a hero, who is leading the Indian Army is very offensive if not criminal.

(The author is Dean & Professor, School of Law, Mahindra University, Hyderabad, and former Central Information Commissioner) (The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of The Hans India)




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