So, there is this hilarious page on facebook I follow. Chances are if you are one of those eternally-bored-and-severely-addicted-to-internet individuals with a moderate understanding of sarcasm you already are a fan! Anyway, this page is particularly famous for its ultra offensive religious and sexist posts and of course the hilarious comments/battles that follow.
But before we get to the point let’s rewind a bit. So a few years back there was a much hyped incident in Palghar when a certain teenage girl chose to express her thoughts on the death of a recently passed politician. That is what is frustrating in our country. For every person who has an opinion there are ten more whose “sentiments” are hurt by it. I mean what can one random facebook post possibly do to offend a dead person let alone tarnish his legacy! Which doorstep did she run screaming at?!
Let us as a fun exercise just gauge the amount of damage the girl’s comments caused to a the reputation of a well-established party and it’s workers. That’s right – Zero! The party workers and leaders went to the same offices the next day, argued about the same things they do every other day and successfully managed to brush aside all issues that really matter to vehemently convince communities how they had been wronged and ill-treated…a normal, usual, productive day. Now let us consider the effect of the said controversy on the girl’s life. A swarm of 10-20 goons….err ‘traumatized and hurt’ people at her house in the middle of the night, an ruckus every middle-class family is so prepared to handle, and finally an arrest. Normal day?
Because that wasn’t enough shock that the poor family could handle, the next morning they were greeted by an entire horde of vultures/journalists, and every other person in the country had his own verdict about the issue. Let us for a moment argue that the girl was soon released from police custody and there was (fortunately) no harm to anyone and soon people forgot. But did anyone of us wonder what happened to both of them once the news channels moved on to more interesting headlines. The former least affected, let alone traumatized people, continued with their lives like always. But the latter, here’s my version of what might have happened to her. Not only did she have to bear the over-bearing guilt of putting her family through the unnecessary hassle, but also she must have been eternally scarred and forced to live in the perpetual fear of offending someone else next time she expresses an opinion. Not to mention the end of her normal social life online.
The above incident angers me, not because I think it is unjust and quite frankly extremely ridiculous, that in the world’s largest democracy a small sect of people and their “sentiments” dictate what I can and cannot say, but because no individual in this country should be made to go through the terror that the girl and her family experienced that night (Imagine one moment you are happily tweeting/commenting and the next moment there is mob of angry (and possibly dangerous) people at your doorstep!) But most of all it angers me because I was also one of those many silent onlookers in the country who could have spoken up, who could have said it was wrong, who could have supported her, who could have liked or shared the status, people who could have taken a stand and made a difference but didn’t. Like many others I conveniently ignored the issue convincing myself that there was nothing that I could have done.
And what blatantly made me realize the coward I had been was when I stumbled upon the brilliance that ‘The Sarcastic Retards’ page was. That most of the humor on this page is at the cost of outrightly dismissing and ridiculing any religious sentiment and widely stereotyping women, to the point of being offensive is an understatement! Because offensive is too ‘cute’ a word to describe it. It is downright blasphemous! What amazes me is how determined people are in vehemently persuading the page to care and address their sentiments and eventually in displaying their clearly missing common sense when all a person simply needs to do is unlike the page if he finds it offensive. But no! We are a nation of self-righteous, holier-than-thou hypocritical individuals who simply have to take personal offense regardless of whether they are being addressed or not. The page is clear in its motto Some facebook post offends you? There is a simple solution—don’t read it!
And that is also precisely the reason why I (inspite of being a girl) along with thousands of others literally WORSHIP this page. Because it is everything that we wished we were – witty, intelligent, humorous, honest, and last of all fearless and unapologetic. Perhaps a petty facebook page is too silly an object to draw inspiration from, but to stick to your opinion, especially in this country of mad fanatic political parties and religious sects, being aware of the numerous threats and abuses you are doomed to endure, takes balls! So here’s an advice to all the precarious, oversensitive people who have their feelings hurt every second minute – Grow a pair!