Un-social Networking Sites?

-Ghayur A Ahmed

The increasing trend of mob lynching taking place by the rumours spread on social media is not only shocking but a grim reminder that the law and order has gone into disarray. Earlier we would occasionally hear the news of some tribal women or a poor and hapless villager’s lynching on the suspicion of witch-craft. But now on the suspicion of “which-craft” the innocent people are being killed?

If an Akhlaque or Alimuddin Ansari is killed on the mere suspicion of possession of beef, then security ought to have been beefed up – not the license to kill. No one can be allowed to take law into one’s own hand. Then how these rowdies are out to take law into their hands dismantling the edifice of the constitution, law and order which stands to ensure safeguarding the interest of the people.

Ironically union minister Mr. Kiran Rijiju unabashedly admits eating beef our honourable vice president Venkaiyyah Naidu is not bothered about the eating habits of anyone. The recent lynching of a techie Mohammad Azam Ahmad of Malakpet in Hyderabad albeit for a rumour other than beef raises serious questions.

To add insult to injury Harvard educated union minister Mr Jayant Sinha seems not to have imbibed the moral values and ethos, as “his-word”, deeds and actions is out to prove. His felicitating and garlanding the accused of lynching would certainly set a bad precedent. It would inflate their courage and deflate the tree of unity and integrity that India is known for and is the basic mantra of India’s happiness, peace and prosperity.

Notwithstanding the fact that social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp are responsible for such unfortunate incidents to some extent but may it be asked if these social networking sites are stronger even more than the social milieu we have been living for centuries?

These social networking sites have taken the shape of a hydra-headed monster and it is high time we should nip it in the bud. The honourable Supreme Court’s order and centre’s stand in this regard have come as a welcome relief and needs to be landed.

The honourable Supreme Court’s order clearly states that “the horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be permitted to inundate the law the land” adding further that “the recurrent pattern of violence cannot be allowed to become rule of law and to the exalted values of the constitution.”

The centre too has promptly taken the action four days after the software engineer’s mob lynching over child lifting rumours as a result of fake news spread over social media, including WhatsApp is a step in the right directions and shows centre’s sincerity in tackling this menace that seems to have gripped the nation in shock and fear. The centre has warned the Facebook owned company “that they could face the legal action if they choose to remain mute spectator.” It has certainly come at the most opportune time and the message has not only come as a welcome relief but prompted the Facebook owned company that the messages cannot be shared with more than five persons. Though it has its pros and cons as several messages contain highly effective and advantageous contents eg health tips. Still it is step that be dubbed as life saving step. This seems to be the beginning of the end of mobocracy by a handful of “kill-crazy”. Already the frenzied mobs have snatched so many precious lives which can never be brought back to life.   How unfortunate it is that these blood thirsty hoodlums in fact do not know the meaning and essence of life, however it can be assuredly said that they must not have done anything worthwhile in their life.

Mobocracy in a democracy like ours is an antithesis. Their bloodletting acts of targetting people without even checking the veracity of facts will certainly bring a bad name. The sincerity of the government to stem the tide cannot be doubled in fact the government seems to be leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety and security of its citizen and is hell-bent to tighten the noose of “netizens” gone astray.

May better sense prevail upon them and may they be metamorphosent into a live frame that binds humanity together, keeping hatred and animosity at bay.

It is very embarrassing that the land where Buddha got enlightenment, an atmosphere was created where the faces of the frightened men were witnessed in every corner and street.


(Ghayur A Ahmed is an advocate and freelance journalist.)

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