Thursday, October 9, 2014

Calm the fuck down

Read this if you are sick of opinions. Read this if you want to see no more ‘open letters’. Read this if you have ever tried to present a point of view on social media and have been bludgeoned with intense and scathing remarks on your intelligence, loyalties and choices.
I am not going to state the obvious. Okay, I am. We are a democracy. Every one, including people who are on this planet only because their parents couldn’t figure out birth control, is entitled to an opinion. But it’s getting annoying. It’s absolutely awesome that you choose a side. But after choosing the side, say your bit and relax. Stop shouting hoarse from rooftops and drowning out other people who also want to have an opinion. Stop calling them names and branding them with hashtags that invariably end with tards. Allow things to happen, let there be some fluidity. Everyone who doesn’t agree with you doesn’t have to be thrown on the ground and stomped upon till every inch of dissonance is snuffed out of them. Respect his right to have an opinion, a voice. Allow me to highlight this with a few examples.
Modi and the mania
Modi went to the US. We obsessed, people there obsessed, the American media obsessed, we even obsessed about our obsession about this visit.  Then, a small scuffle happened between a senior journalist and some people outside the venue. And we went beserk. You had to pick sides. You were either with Rajdeep or a Moditard. There’s no in-between. If you said Rajdeep was wrong, people quickly trampled on you to tell you how you’ve been brainwashed by the Modi brigade. If you stood with Rajdeep, you were either branded a Congress loyalist or someone who can’t judge things correctly when clearly because he’s been leaning towards the Congress and asking the hard questions and that makes him deserving of the treatment he received.
Women and their woes
You know the Deepika and TOI story by now. And what flared up again were questions about women, what they wear and if she ‘asked for it’.  Even as we were picking our jaw off the floor and shaking our heads in surprise at the madness, a vulgar disgusting display of the sick mentality of the men and even of women came to the fore. Facebook and Twitter exploded with battles being fought with ferocity by men and women who see females who bare skin as objects and men and women who cannot fathom the depths a tabloid has fallen to. Everyone disagreed but the remarks by some people left a bad taste in the mouth.
Flipkart and the flop
Flipkart had a sale. They faltered. They apologized. People couldn’t wait and made this about how Flipkart was cheating them and how they have always been crooks. How this was a big scam and they can’t believe they have been falling for this all this time. This is while some of them were adding items to their cart and wondering how to reduce shipping costs by adding more items.

STEP BACK. Take a deep breath.
Let’s take stock of the situation. Because we (by which I mean Indians as a whole) need to calm the fuck down. We have lost the ability to think straight. We are nasty, bitchy, spiteful and angry. It’s like the whole world has done us wrong. This needs to stop. And now.
The Rajdeep incident had lots of grey shades. It didn’t need the political shades we added to it. It wasn’t political. It was two people in a potentially explosive situation who lost their cool. Neither and the emphasis is on neither here, are a representation of their entire community or profession. What happened with Deepika was wrong. She did not give you or me the free reign to portray her body as we please just because she became an actress. She may walk around naked; we have to keep our erections down. Yes, it’s our duty to do that. Not her duty to cover up.
Let’s allow another species to breathe. The ones like me. Who are Modi fans because in the 30 years I have been alive, I have never seen young India so enthusiastic. Because suddenly I am optimistic about the future. However, I don’t go around chopping heads for everyone who isn’t in my frame of my mind. Who think women should be given every kind of freedom and every sort of right.  But don’t recommend going to lonely areas alone because that’s unsafe anywhere in the world. Who want to see young India succeed and move forward.

Lastly, stop waiting on the sidelines for people, companies and ideas to fail. When you climb on to the bandwagon purely for the bashing and the ego boost it gives you, it makes you a coward. Stop violently pulling down people who are gingerly making their way up. Stop waiting for people and companies to stumble because when they do, you want to point and laugh. Stop it stupid Indian, it doesn’t suit you.

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