Emergence of key board villains Spewing venoms
Key board warriors but tinged heavily with shades of villainy. A look at the words punched in on the key board should leave no one in doubt over this. Other than these key board ‘champions’, there are motor mouths who spew venoms and who expect the venoms to be carried or broadcasted for public consumption. And the onus of filtering what may be offensive to the sensibilities of anyone or a community or a group of people invariably falls on the journalists or more precisely the Editors whose job is to edit every statement or report that reach their office in a day. Not an enviable job at all, but then there is something called duty and it is this which prompts all those who come under the designation of Editors or Sub-Editors or Reporters who need to keep an extra sharp eye on anything that may sound inflammatory. Manipur is going through one such crisis at the moment and while newspapers, TV news channels and even the State controlled Radio have their own set of strict dos and don’ts, there is no such mechanism to check what venom laced words an individual may put on the social media and this is where Manipur has witnessed some disturbing comments, observations or downright propaganda, which are nothing much more than attempting to rewrite history, give a false narrative and spread venom. Not surprising that the State Government has come out with a heavy hand on such trouble makers from time to time, but at the same time there have been times when it did overstep, constraining even the Supreme Court of India to intervene and give its ruling on cases, which went against the stand of the State Government. The story however does not end here. With popular media sites such as Facebook and Whatsapp just a click away, it has only emboldened some characters to go all out and lay down their own agenda which have the potential to pit one group of people against the other. The disturbing part is, there could be a design to such ‘devil may care’ approach in what one puts up on the social media sites and it is this which people should be wary about. The primary objective of such posts is to provoke and if the people get provoked, then be sure that they are falling into the ‘trap’ laid by such posts which may be venomous. What is doubly disturbing is to see so called educated class of people pitching in and airing their views and opinions, which do nothing except add to the social tension with their false interpretations of history and incidents.
It was with a reason why the SP of Imphal West police invited all Editors of Imphal based newspapers and news channels some days back to discuss the compelling need to edit provocative statements from the different players out there fishing in troubled waters. The situation is dicey and here it is important for all leaders and spokespersons of different social organisations to check, cross check and see if they can put a brake on what they utter in the public space. Here it becomes disheartening to see even respected individuals who once held responsible positions in the Government coming out with statements which can only complicate the situation. Grievances there could be many amongst the people, yet when the response to these grievances are directed towards another group of people or a community then it can take an ugly turn. Take the protest to the Government in a democratic manner but in the process don’t do anything that can pitch one group of people against the other. This is unacceptable. And this is what some mischievous characters seem to be pursuing with their self concocted tales of the past. This is what people should be wary of yet it is imperative that no one takes the law into his or her own hands. Any grievances, let the law decide that. It is also important that people stop manipulating history to suit their own narratives, which can only be done with an ulterior motive.