Hail the Trolls ! Long live new (read dead) India !

 

By Harshan

Since when have we as Indians stopped talking about Hindu Muslim unity? Since when has the chapter on unity in diversity started talking about unity in homogeneity ? Since when have these nameless, faceless, online mass appeal morality teachers started reflecting the complete image of the Indian society ? Since when have we started being so obedient and silent ? 

There is something terribly wrong in the whole event of Tanishq taking down its ad after getting trolled. The ad, as has been mentioned countless times in articles, shows inter religious bonhomie. How has it hurt the sentiments ? And to top it, whose sentiments are getting hurt, hindus’ or muslims’ ?  

Is this the new India we are envisioning? In this day and age of globalisation, economic prosperity, digital revolution we are talking about differences on the basis of religion ! something which Kabir Das, guru Nanak dev, sheikh Salim Chishti, sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya and countless others before and after them have tried to settle in their times. In this so called modern India, that it still finds takers, is a preposterous thought. If true, it shows the banality of the society and our submission to the divisive forces. 

Is the notion of the two communities intermingling with each other through a wedlock so infuriating that a 45sec commercial had to be taken down ?  Is a global conglomerate so weak that it gets affected by a few trolls or is there a bigger picture? The Indian express, yesterday, in its editorial hinted at a larger hand behind all these events.

But the question is to the society in general, that what are we thinking when an event like above happens and we just move on with our lives. 

Just like this, earlier we had or are having (nobody is sure) an economic recession. In such despairing times of economic regression, why no body is asking questions ? Why is it that the recently released IMF figures present a dark picture, but we are happy to think of the 8% speculated growth which might never happen? Suddenly all the V and the W shaped recoveries and peaks and double digit growths are thrown out. Such is the despair of the youth that they can only watch IPL on their Jio mobile phones and wait for the achchhe din to come. It is like the games in the ancient Roman Empire which the Caesar commissioned to take the minds of the public away from the challenges of daily life. 

Yes there is a pandemic, we have to understand the challenges and we have to be atmanirbhar. But couldn’t all this been handled better ? Why could the policy makers not foresee the challenges that a strict sudden lockdown force upon the people? How can we just so easily say and getaway that “oh, nobody thought that….”. Well, then what’s the point of having a fat bureaucracy which draws money from the public if it cannot foresee the challenges. And even after getting to know the problem there was hardly any solution offered by the government.

What is serious here is the complete numbness of the mind which we have been subjected to. Those who ask uncomfortable questions are numbed down, either through law or through trolls. 

Coming back to the withdrawal of the ad, what could Tata possibly have lost had they gone ahead with the campaign? Maybe sales in the coming festive season… maybe that’s where their soft spot lay… not hurting the store sales and of the partners and thus making some profit in the coming festive season. Well, for a corporate it is always the bottomline but for a society what is the bottomline ? 

Amongst the dead should we remember Tagore: 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

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