No, no, but why don’t you speak up?

No, no, but why don’t you speak up?

The unexpected tragedy of an active life on the Internet—expressing yourself non-stop, which is already overtaking real life—is that you’ve chosen to become a public figure, temporarily breaking away from your private self.

You do the same thing, like making public announcements, even addressing the nation on important days. And they should be held to the same standards that real celebrities do. Only those celebrities earn crores from public appearances; Earning lots of conditional love in return. You only get the other side of having an opinion. who is it?

character assassinations, and a crazy barrage of counter-questions to deal with, with predictable lines like, “But, who are you… what about… where were you…” even Sikh Gulzar, mistaken as a Muslim by the illiterate, and Amartya Sen, instead perceived as illiterate, have not been spared on social media.

And so you go: “Screw it, with my daddy (what goes to my dad)”, and back to scrolling food/cat/half-naked on Insta/YouTube. Unless the generations imagined before you are under direct attack. Or you are yourself – whether socially, financially as well.

And the whole world feels like a khap panchayat, which is taking wrong decisions. So what other option do you have than to speak for yourself?

This is when the silence of like-minded people hurts the most. You rightly want ‘eliship’ (that’s’s word for the year 2021). Feel more frustrated when perceived allies still indulge in bipartisanism when everything doesn’t have two sides. Hate speech, which is classified as an incitement of violence, is not. Neither do unfair laws, and so much more. Many people speak, incessantly, saying the same thing throughout the day.

Many of them are well-meaning, activists who run the risk of potential persecution, even from the state. This is no longer a zero-stakes virtue sign. Freedom of speech is, as Idi Amin said – not necessarily after freedom of speech.

The Left, on issues that are not personal, these activists, professional or amateur, shout the loudest, instead of why has everyone been silent! After all there is safety and merit in an opinion widely spread.

With some activists, at least I know, the only issue with friends is that they anoint themselves as the sole repository of harmony; Everything else is for sale in his eyes. The test of their purity hardly wins friends and impresses people, when most are probably self-centered fence-sitters minding their own precious business. As they always will.

Politicians are more persuasive in this regard. Even more so those in power. They commandeer a swarm of cronies over the loot to distribute. It is impossible to match such an opportunistic commitment. They’re frickin’ over it, all the time. This is a job. That is why it is best to mute such social media handles/profiles engaged in this ‘bad system’. Unless you like people going to their workplaces.

How do you get rid of politicians getting your goat? They can only be beaten on election day, which some believe is a total democracy. winner takes all. Every adult gets an equal vote.

Otherwise, just as perfect human equality is a social mirage, not all speech is equal. Some are more similar than others. Measurable online by the size of your following. Or nothing about your potentially viral tweet, as it were, to infect through community transmission, beyond immediate acquaintances.

Which version usually spreads the fastest? Algorithm wise, opinion tagged for outlandish/extreme; for against. Therefore, there is only incentive to deal with the extremes, through dopamine hits for online likes/shares; Trump or KRK, neither is quick.

You understand that, most importantly, on social media among Indians on matters of rights of religious minorities. It is not that these things are decided by logic, but by default Indians should be most vulnerable about any kind of discrimination and insult/abuse on religious grounds. The overwhelming majority (80 percent) of them are Hindus, who will be a minority in every part of the world except Nepal!

Anyway, let alone minority-majority, Hindu-Muslim, there is no permanent construction. Every majority is a minority somewhere else. It is plain self-preservation in the form of a collective human instinct against marginalization. But it seems that such boring speech does not travel. Working in captivating, wake-up binaries, go back to history, and how far back in history does that go?

Even if one acknowledges that online political conflict is not always between fact and fiction (although there is much of it). From both the sides, it is also about one set of facts versus another set of facts. Form two factions, if you can! Where do they go, standing on neither pole?

Silent. Naturally. Saving their honour. Save your skin, among those with a lot of skin in the game. Avoiding mud battles. to calm their nerves. Avoiding conflict To be apolitical on partisan lines is also a political choice. Listing that in their dating app bio. Knowing their limits to impress anyway.

I see them around. I know they care. It is being told that his silence is collusion. Forget why they don’t talk, I think more about regular Ramesh who do—why do they? Only one explanation: By doing so they feel respectable about themselves. Yes, feel respected; There should be a good feeling.

Mayank Shekhar has tried to make sense of the people’s culture. He tweeted @mayankw14
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The views expressed in this column are those of the individual and do not represent the views of the paper.



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